Hop Onto the Path

A few posts ago, I mentioned the Cryo Pop brand of hop products and lookee here, Offshoot Beer Co. has an experimental hazy brewed with that pop. I kinda wish they did a threesome of beers though. One regular pellet, one regular cryo and one Cryo Pop so we, as consumers could taste the difference.

New Hoppiness

There are two more new hops in the pipeline (aka pre-commercialization stage) following in the footsteps of Sabro and Strata are HBC 586 and 638.

HBC 586 is a “bright, fruit-forward hop”.

HBC 638 is “complex and versatile. …with tropical fruit flavors”.

You might see some beers that mention in the marketing material those two numbers and then we will have to translate that to their trade names if they become popular and have enough acreage to be in larger runs of beers.

Experimental X 3


Watch as the shades of green grow darker from Session IPA to IPA to DIPA with the latest series that utilizes the cutting edge of hops that Sierra Nevada can get.
Will this change each year? And which will be the favorite of the hop heads?

Review – Unity IPA (bottled) from Three Weavers

IMG_6859
After experiencing Unity 2016 from Three Weavers and the LA County Brewers Guild in the cask format, it was time to try the bottled version. Though I am not a fan of the artwork on the label, I can see why a certain niche would think it is cool.

I cracked open the bottle and immediately the hop nose bubbled up before even pouring into the glass. It was a dual hit of pine and tropical fruit with berries swirling around. After that though, the beer sorta fizzled out. Bitterness was there, but the aroma just didn’t carry through into the flavor and when that aroma faded off, I was left with a bit of an underwhelming IPA.

I had a can of Stone’s Go To IPA earlier in the night and that beer had a well executed juicy orange character to it. Did that influence my taste buds? I don’t know but I couldn’t help but compare the two and hoping for Unity16 to pop a little more. Instead it just sorta rolled downhill into a bit of dankness at the end.

It leaves me perhaps to try it on tap and see if that is the optimal dispense for this beer.

Review – Unity 2016 on Cask

Next month, I will review both last years and this years L.A. Beer Week Unity collaborative beers in “from the bottle” form.  But yesterday, I trundled down to K-Town to try a cask version of the beer first at Southland Beer.
IMG_6713
The cask was tapped behind the curtain so I only saw a few tools head behind the bar but soon the beer was being pushed through the handle and I got one of the first pulls of the beer. There was a weird bitterness to Unity 2016 with some fruit notes too. Do I detect Watermelon? Certainly not very citrusy. I was expecting the cask to mute and round off the sharp hop edges but this beer is still a little too harsh with some woodsy back end flavors to it.
IMG_6722
I was left trying to wonder what the cask presentation added/subtracted from what the beer will be in the most available forms. Will the fruit notes pop more? Will the carbonation add some zing? Time will tell since the bottles will be soon on the market.

HBC-438 the Homebrewing Hop

New hop varieties take years to go from thoughts and plans to being in common usage by brewers.

One that has been bubbling around and got the attention of Stan Hieronymus is HBC-438. It was seen and taste by home brewers back at their 2015 gathering under but might now be poised to take the next step to sainthood.

Here are the pertinent facts around the hop from the Hieronymus piece:

“Profits from sales to homebrewers will go to Ales for ALS.

Its mother is native American (neomexicanus). It is a bastard (father unknown).

In a raw state, it smells of both tropical and stone fruits. It is pleasantly herbal, a bit spicy, and I’m pretty sure that when used badly it will produce beers that can be described as catty (as in “smells like a litter box”).

There are a few homebrewers walking around with it now, because they attended the “Brewing With Experimental Hops – A New Hop Variety Just For Homebrewers” presentation last month at the National Homebrewers Conference in San Diego.”

Years from now, this might be the hip new hop.