If you ask any Massachusetts resident what they know about Hopkinton they will probably mention the fact that the town is the starting point of the Boston Marathon. Next Monday is Patriots Day and Marathon Monday, a holiday in the state of Massachusetts where people who are way more motivated and/or crazy than me run for 26.2 miles, while I hang out, watch sports on TV, eat snacks and have a few beers. With all of these runners making their way to the starting line in Hopkinton it makes a lot of sense that the only local brewery is named for the town’s claim to fame. Start Line Brewing has been producing a variety of ales since 2016. Many of these beers have names referencing the big event, like Marathon Wheat and Home Stretch Stout. Start Line’s flagship IPA is called Hop Load, presumably in reference to the act of carbo-loading before a big race, and they also brew a version of the beer featuring the popular Citra hop variety. Start Line Hop Load Citra is available year round on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Start Line Hop Load Citra pours hazy deep orange with a solid white head. The aroma is a solid burst of fruity hops. These hops also lead the flavor, notes of grapefruit, tangerine, herbs and pine along with a solid bitter bite. This isn’t a straight NEIPA, more of a hybrid with the more bitter West Coast style. The hops are complemented by a mild malt backbone, hints of bread crust and cereal. Hop Load Citra is light and very easy to drink but packs a little punch at 7.1% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor and bite. This is a very good IPA, I like the East-West combo beers that feature the fruity hops but also pack a little bite. What better way to celebrate Marathon Monday than some beers from the Start Line! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.