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Review: Hop Your Face Right Off Your Head

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Fountain Square Brewing Company's "Hop Your Face" event occurred on the sort of autumn day that makes me grateful to be a Hoosier. Mild temperatures paired with a crisp breeze and sunny skies necessitated a favorite jacket in order to enjoy the joviality, music, and brews offered down on Shelby St.

This local brewery held the event in honor of the unveiling of its new Imperial IPA, Hop Your Face, for which the celebration was aptly named. The beer itself is a hop lovers dream, living up to its title. Packing a heady flavor and body, this brew is a tasty new addition to Fountain Square's list. Additionally, as a Grateful Dead fan I was excited by the beer's Stealie inspired logo, and it's "He's Gone" reference. Events influenced by the Dead tend to have an air of familiarity around them for fans, and that essence was felt throughout the whole brewery.

The day drew a large amount of supporters in from both the Fountain Square neighborhood, and the greater Indianapolis area. In addition to the beautiful weather, the gathering's demeanor was wholeheartedly cheerful and pleasant. The afternoon actually had a true music festival feel with old hopheads smiling alongside recent college graduates. The local soap makers, Square Apple Soaps, amongst a few other Indianapolis artisans, displayed their goods as shoppers perused. A couple of food trucks lined the east side of the complex where the music could still be heard. Bales of hay served as both season appropriate decorations, and comfortable seating in front of the stage.

"Hop Your Face" would not have been complete without a musical nod to the band that inspired the brew. Following Jessie and Amy, an acoustic female duo, HyRyder grabbed the stage and bestowed two hours of jam-band classics onto the audience. They're a band specializing in the realm of classic rock renditions. They performed precise covers of numerous Grateful Dead and Phish songs with an electric and acoustic presence. At first the crowd was a bit shy, perhaps they hadn't imbibed in enough Hop Your Face, but by the beginning of the band's second set, the crowd had unleashed their inner hippy. Business professional types suddenly recalled their gate-crasher days, as they clapped and sung along to HyRyder stylizations of "Suzy Greenburg" to "Althea." After HyRyder came The Hardees and the psychedelic tunes of Strange Arrangement who finished up the music for the event.

Fountain Square Brewery's "Hop You Face" debut celebration was a fantastic way to spend an early day in October enjoying good music, beer, and neighborhood hospitality.

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