* cracks open an IPA *
Hops! You love ‘em, we love ‘em, so let’s talk about ‘em, eh? Here at New Belgium, we use all kinds of hops to color everything from our IPA offerings like Rampant, Ranger and our Hop Kitchen series to Old World styles like Abbey and Trippel. So what hops are we playing with at the moment? I hung out in our pilot brewery to get the scoop on some of the most popular (and soon-to-be popular) varieties that help shape the New Belgium portfolio.
The India Pale Ale isn’t the only style that gets a dose of hops
Saaz: Pilot brewers Cody and Ross told me that this Old World Bohemian hop variety is what delivers the spicy and floral notes to Trippel and Blue Paddle, to which I’m like, “Cool, whatever you Saaz, dudes.”
Willamette: Pro-tip: it’s pronounced Will-AM-ette. This old school American hop variety lends spicy, green tea notes, and we use it in Fat Tire.
Cascade: It’s a classic American hop that helped launch the IPA movement. So, no surprise that this citrusy, piney, and floral hop goes into Ranger IPA.
These hops are pretty popular at the moment, and we can’t get enough of them—especially in IPAs.
Mosaic: Another U.S. variety, which is known for its exotic tropical, pungent hoppiness and blueberry-like aroma. Mosaic’s the featured hop in our Rampant imperial IPA.
Galaxy: Boatloads of newish hops from Down Under are transforming the way hoppy beers taste. Galaxy is one, and it gave last year’s Hop the Pond IPA release peachy, apricoty and floral tones.
Citra: Based on the name, you‘d think this U.S. hop variety would deliver orange and grapefruit, but it’s better known for its vivid exotic fruit notes like guava, gooseberry and lychee. Citra’s a major contributor to Slow Ride session IPA.
We’re experimenting with these hops right now in our pilot brewery, and wouldn’t be surprised if they’re the next headliners in the India Pale Ale genre.
Experimental Hop 522: It’s so new, it doesn’t have a name. This pungent hop offers juicy orange and black pepper notes, and it’s one of the hops in next month’s Hop Kitchen Hop Tart release (look for the lacto-spiked IPA on draft in mid-June!).
Azaaca: We’re playing around with this hop in a beer that’s hush-hush at the moment, but you can expect to taste the crazy mango and pine notes from Azaaca hops in a New Belgium release in the near future.
Hops rule — Chris