Colorado Brewed: Boulder Beer Hoopla Pale Ale

Welcome to the first Colorado Brewed column on Denver off the Wagon. Each Wednesday in this column I’ll be be posting my insights about one of the thousands of beers brewed in the great state of Colorado. Feel free to shoot me an email with your suggestions of Colorado beers you’d like me to feature – Lee Williams at – or leave your ideas in the comments.

Hoopla is a bright amber colored, dry-hopped American Pale by Boulder Beer Co.  The beer is the product of a collaboration between the Boulder brewers and Kyle Hollingsworth, a dedicated homebrewer and the keyboardist for the band the String Cheese Incident.  The idea behind the collaboration was a noble one indeed; to create the perfect beer to enjoy during the summer music festival season.

The hop varietal used for the dry-hopping was Glacier, a hop with a softly sweet and orange citrus character.

Hoopla pops with breezy aromatics – osage orange, dry grass, pine sap, dirt covered mushrooms and even a touch of garlic.

In the drink, bitterness is pleasantly palatable and evokes the exotic greenness of fresh lemongrass, lemon balm and lemon mint – in other words, a lot of unconventional lemon flavors.

The finish is a little fruitier and sweeter than the sip and mid palate and provides a nice counterpoint to the more bitter first and second acts.

While Hoopla maintains an angular bitterness throughout, its kiss of sweetness on the finish makes it a more food friendly option than a lot of more aggressively hopped American Pales.  I’d suggest pairing the beer with dishes that have a dominant cheddar cheese, potato or savory dairy component.


  • Brewed in Colorado by:  Boulder Beer Company, 2880 Wilderness Place. Boulder, CO 80301
  • Released:  May, 2011 in 22oz bottle and on draft
  • Beer style:  American Pale Ale
  • ABV:  5.7%
  • IBU:  35
  • Hops:  Nugget, Glacier, Centennial
  • Grains:  Pale Malt, CaraRed Malt, Melanoidin Malt, Chocolate Malt

Check back next Wednesday when I highlight another Colorado Brewed beer. Cheers.

About Lee Williams

Beer writer. Founder of Hoptopia. I write for various beer related publications, websites and festivals. Email -

  • CraftBeerDude

    Hello Lee! Glad to see you on the wagon! Wait…off the wagon? Glad to see you doing something involving a wagon. There we go.
    Hoopla sounds pretty tasty, I’ll have to pick up a 6er and give it a shot!

  • Lee Williams

    Hey CraftBeerDude. Thanks so much. Hope you enjoy this new ongoing series. Cheers,

  • Ryan

    This is a great not beer review. Welcome to Colorado. I can only guess that you are pumped to (re)discover, up close, Colorado beers one at a time. CHeers. I might join in the exploration with you.

  • Lee Williams

    Ryan – Thanks. That is exactly what I was going for – a NOT beer review. At this point I can write a solid, opinion laden beer REVIEW with my eyes closed. Writing purely based on descriptors is much more challenging. I am looking forward to exploring, and yes, re-exploring many, many Colorado beers. Cheers,