Hop selection: The hops behind New Belgium IPAs and more

Every fall, we send a pretty important group of people from New Belgium to check out the new hop crops in Yakima Valley. In the industry, this annual pilgrimage is called hop selection, when brewery's send representatives from the raw materials side of the business to visit the hop farms and select next year's batch of hops. Most return with hands that smell like hops for days. By all accounts, it's a pretty rad time, but it also ensures another year's worth of high-quality IPAs and other styles. After all, hops go into everything we brew. While in Yakima, a good chunk of time's spent checking and picking from the best quality stock of tried-and-true hops like Cascade, but it's also an opp...
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Accumulation IPA: Get ready for a flurry of hops

There’s a reason why a “flurry of hops” is the tagline for our winter seasonal Accumulation IPA (which is currently working its way out to a shelf or tap near you): When all the other breweries start releasing their malt bombs, we release a blizzard of tropical hop flavors (because, really, the market does get a bit saturated with stouts toward the end of the year). Sure, it goes against the norm, but we just can’t get enough hops, and we're not the only ones. Take it away, rad BeerAdvocate reviewer dude: [Midnight confession: Sierra Nevada Celebration is a fave around these parts, too] But, back to our beer... While a hefty dose of wheat lends a smooth counter to Accumulation's bitter ...
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Hop Stout packs big hoppy, malty punch

It's been a banger year in our Hop Kitchen series, with Hop Tart, Oatmeal IPA, and Super IPA flowing from taps, and now the final series release for 2015 is here: Hop Stout, one of the biggest, darkest, hoppiest beers we’ve brewed to date. One of the highlights of Hop Stout—besides the incredibly chewy eight-grain malt bill featuring the likes of chocolate malt, roasted barley, caramel malts, and oats—is the particular hop selection. Ever heard of Styrian Dana? “We did a single hop beer once with [Styrian Dana] and it was super funky,” says quality analyst Christian Holbrook. “We got some sharp garlic, green onion characteristics, but as the beer aged, it had this really citrus herbaceou...
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