Sean’s Sips – River North Hypothesis


  • Style:  Double IPA
  • ABV:  9.0%
  • IBU:  130
  • Color:  Pale Amber
  • Boil Hops:  American bittering hops (River North secret)
  • Dry Hops:  Cascade


River North is one of Denver’s newest breweries (they opened two months ago) and they’ve already released two of their beers in bombers, the second being J. Marie Saison.  As a brewery specializing in Belgian beer, it’s no surprise that they chose to spice up one of America’s favorite styles.  Matt Hess, Head Brewer/Owner of River North, thought the Cascade hops and Belgian yeast would play nicely with each other as he was designing this beer.  Matt told me that although this beer clocks in well above 100 IBU’s, the purpose in adding such a large quantity of hops was for the beer to pick up more of the hop aroma and flavor, rather than the bitterness.  As for the dry hopping time:

The truth about this beer is that we dry-hopped it and just waited until it tasted right. There is no substitute for patience when brewing beer.

Wondering how he came up with the name?  Here’s what Matt had to say:

I guess I’m a nerd at heart, and I thought Hypothesis would make an awesome name for a beer!  We also recommend pondering the mysteries of the universe while drinking it.

Only 20 cases of this beer were bottled in the first batch, so if you’re looking for some, you’d better head out quick.  Bottles are available at the brewery, Mile High Wine & Spirits, Mr. B’s, Argonaut, and Lloyd & Maxwell.  If you don’t get any of the first batch, Matt said they plan on bottling another round of about 100 cases fairly shortly.

English (sort-of):

Aroma – Malt and hops, but dominated by floral/spice from the Belgian yeast.

Taste – You’d think this beer would be a hop bomb at 130 IBU’s, but the hops are held in check by the Belgian yeast.  A little bitterness up front and on the back end, with citrus notes from the Cascade hops .

Drinkability – I know I’ve said it before, but the Belgian yeast really makes this beer much more drinkable than your average double IPA.  Despite the fact that River North clearly marks on the bottle that it is meant to be shared, I downed the entire thing myself (sorry).

Verdict – I have to admit, I’m not usually fond of strong Belgian flavors.  However, the flavor profile of Hypothesis was balanced enough that I never got that huge hit of Belgian spice like you’d see in a Dubbel or Trippel.  I also have to give some major props to River North for not only bottling their beer this quickly but also for producing such a solid brew.


[Disclaimer: I realize that I am in no way qualified to judge beer… so I’m not.  The goal of this post is to introduce you to a local beer that I think you’d enjoy.  It’s fine if you don’t agree with me, just don’t post angry comments about how you can’t believe I didn’t taste bubblegum, clove, and/or hot dogs in said beer.]

About Sean Buchan

Sean is a Physical Therapist and Photographer living in (and loving) Denver, Colorado. He enjoys shooting just about anything but his true passion is capturing the craft beer culture here in Denver. If you enjoy his photographs check out Beertographer.

  • Conk

    Horray beer,great pictures