Around the Horn Beer Review: Chameleon Hop On Top

Today’s collaborative beer review occurred spontaneously at my place of employment. We had quite an extensive tap beer change today (lots of new, fun summery stuff–I’m personally excited to have Tyranena’s Scurvy back!), so I took it upon myself to lube up the staff with samples of the various brews when their respective shifts were complete. Because it is important to be knowledgeable of what one is selling. Or some other similar-sounding excuse. Anyhow, at one point I had quite the crew spread out at the bar, where the topic of conversation was centered primarily around one of the new beers we put on draft today, Chameleon Hop On Top. The Chameleon Brewery is a new offshoot of Sprecher Brewing out of Glendale, WI. This Dr. Seuss-sounding beer had created quite a stir amongst my coworkers. Here’s what the panel of unbeknownst beer judges* had to say:

ME: What do you think, Smutty?

SMUTTY: (taking a sip of the beer) *gags, spits up*

TOUCHDOWN: (upon noticing Smutty’s reaction to the aforementioned beer) Oh my god, what are you drinking, Smutty?

SMUTTY: (slides beer sample over, grimacing) Try some.

TOUCHDOWN: (after a wee sip) Oh god. I don’t even know where I am after that beer. It tastes like a sea of homeless protestors. What was that?

SMUTTY: Hop On Top.

TOUCHDOWN: Hop on top of what?

ME: That’s what she said. Puddin’, you’re up.

PUDDIN’: Oh my. That’s like you soaked a sock in beer and wrung it out.

CAMSHAFT: It tastes like a beer that has been left in the sun all day and then put back in the fridge.

LEXIS NEXUS: (piping in bashfully) I don’t know. I like it.

ME: Great. How come? Forget what these knuckleheads have been saying.

LEXIS NEXUS: It tastes like [New Glarus’s] Moon Man to me.

ME: Nice. Moon Man is a solid brew. How about you, Breffix Newbie?

BREFFIX NEWBIE: You know? It starts off really nice, but the finish is pretty bad. It’s like damp towels that were never given a chance to dry.

ME: The finish?


ME: Ricardos, do you have an opinion?

RICARDOS: This might be the worst beer we’ve ever had on tap at this establishment, Ricardos**.

ME: Worse than El Rey? Is that even possible, Ricardos?

RICARDOS: I think it might have just happened, Ricardos.

ME: Yikes. This is a dark day.


ME: Mr. Lantern, do you have something you’d like to add?

BLACK LANTERN: Indeed. I think the problem here is that the hop flavor is completely out of context in this beer. Instead of using a citrusy cascade style of hops, for instance, Chameleon has opted for an earthy variety that is not at all complementary to the rest of the flavor of the beer. Which, in the case of this beer, has been completely imbalanced, leaving a pretty smooth first impression and a really ugly finish.

ME: So this beer is more or less a misfire?

BLACK LANTERN: There’s room for improvement.

ME: Well put, sir. I’m gonna paraphrase the shit out of what you just said if it makes it into a blog post.

BLACK LANTERN: Do with those words what you will.

ME: Bless you.


And so. This beer was most certainly not a hit with my coworkers. Nor was it a hit with me. If I personally had to give a two word review of this product, it would be “feet” and “toxic.” And I’m not being melodramatic. For once in my life. This beer is bad. Real bad. At a certain point, I can’t even be diplomatic about such things.

Check out what other folks had to say. Look here too. The gang and I were not too far off the mark, it seems.

* These folks did not know that their responses were going to be jotted down to be later used in a blog post. Their reactions to the beer were sincere and spur of the moment. And, for the most part, their words are verbatim. Seriously. I take pretty good notes.

** For those who have not been following the blog, Ricardos and I refer to one another as Ricardos. So there. I do not feel the need to explain myself further.