OK, first of all: I’ve never been to the future. I hit my head pretty badly once, but that sent me on a trip to Urgent Care, not tomorrow. Still, it doesn’t take a gifted futurist to see where IPA flavors are trending. Where? To the tropics.
Until a few years ago, hop character in IPAs was predictably (deliciously) orange, grapefruit, grass and pine, courtesy of hops like Cascade, Centennial and Columbus. Classic. But new hop varieties—newly developed varieties through crossbreeding programs, and newly imported varieties from countries like Australia—are bringing an exotic twist to hoppy beers. Here at New Belgium, we dig the new look of hops, and are brewing up some pretty awesome beers to show off the exotic aromas and flavors. Embark on your own tropical cruise with these two beers:
Rampant Imperial IPA
Two of Rampant’s headlining hops are Calypso and Mosaic (you can almost hear the steel drums), relatively new varieties first released to the public around 2011. The two hops color the beer with peaches, grapefruit, mango, lemon and blueberry (Tiki torches and flip flops not required, but recommended).
Hop the Pond Double IPA
Our latest Hop Kitchen Series release features a bunch of ingredients from around the world—four hops varieties and four different grains, to be exact. Hops including Australian Galaxy, U.S. Citra and Slovenian Styrian Dana weave notes of pine, black currant, lemon, pineapple and mango through the beer.
Hop character in review:
Five years ago: Orange, grapefruit, pine and grass (all of which I still love!)
Today: Mango, grapefruit, blueberry, passion fruit (these flavors rule, too!)
Tomorrow: Opening a bottle will literally transport you via a beer wormhole to Fiji.
Looking forward to it — Chris