Hop Class

For the 2nd year in a row,  Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) is taking their Hop & Brew School virtual. It is a five-day event taking place in cyberspace from August 30th through September 3rd.

I listened in on many presentations last year and learned quite a bit but lets have the press release convince you…

“For nearly two decades, YCH has hosted this comprehensive hop harvest experience for the brewing community complete with a behind-the-scenes look at the hop industry as well as educational seminars. Now in its 18th year, Hop & Brew School® is considered to be a highly regarded event among craft brewers and one of the most in-depth hop education programs in the industry.

Due to COVID-19, YCH will be holding this event in a virtual format for a second year, as safety remains their first priority. This year’s schedule features sessions surrounding new discoveries in advanced hop research, hop application best practices, hop sensory training, a deep dive into the beyond beer beverage category and homebrew tips. Participants will also receive an inside look at organic hop growing and experimental hop development. Speakers include both hop industry experts and veteran brewers.”

Hop Lark

I have an alternative to hard seltzers for you. How about a sparkling (N/A) water with hops. You can get the above variety pack and get those in demand Citra and Mosaic as well as new starlet Sabro and an un-named hop too. Check it out HERE.

Exploding Pun

Lagunitas is always good for a fresh hop beer and for this 2021 One Hitter release, they are harvesting four popular hops for freshness sake. The brewery may not be at the heights they were pre-Heineken but considering how good Waldos was this year, this beer should be quite nice.

Chasing Fresh Bitburger

First Bitburger collaborated with Sierra Nevada and now another heritage brewery meets up with them for so freshies…

Here are the beer details…

Chasin’ Freshies Fresh Hop IPA A fresh hop collaboration with Bitburger, September release (based on timing of hop harvest) in 12-ounce cans. Deschutes’ #1 fresh hop beer goes international with this Bitbuger collab! A celebration of 2 iconic, independent, family owned breweries exchanging brewing expertise and comradery. This collaboration incorporates the Bitburger influenced German hop “Callista” with Triumph and Cashmere American hops selected during the 2020 hop harvest.”

Come on Down, You are the Next Contestant on the Hop is Right!

First, I want you to hop (sorry) over to the Beervana Blog and read this POST and don’t give me any TL:DR guff.

OK, now that you are back, there are two golden nuggets in that piece. First is that a hop can have rum and caramel and banana notes. That is mind blowing. And second, is that a brewery can sponsor an up and possibly coming hop in exchange for dibs on the crop.

And the big takeaway that I want most beer fans to keep in mind is how veeerrrryyy long it takes for a seedling to be an actual crop. Hats off to the potent combo of science and farming that can do it that quickly while satisfying IPA fiends.

Names to Look For

Quick hop post for y’all.

Remember these two hop names because I bet you will be seeing them in beers next year and more I need 2022.

First up is Australia- Eclipse. Then to New Zealand for – Nectaron.

Beer Book Review – Hops by Kenneth Helphand

History. Beer has plenty of it if you look behind the curtain of hops. Kenneth Helphand has compiled some really cool photographs including some Dorothea Lange ones in his book about the hop world way, way back in the day.

This is a specific book. You are not going to get what varietals were made or even much talk about the end product. This is first and foremost a curated set of photos of the people in the hop fields. You also get recollections from people who went picking and from newspaper mentions as well. It does lead to a certain sameness. A group of people in front of a row of hops or surrounding a barrel filled with the days pick. But then you look a little closer and you see Chinese faces, Native American faces, recent immigrant faces.

You see, the everyday racist slights in the advertisements for workers. Or a YWCA camp set- up as a safe haven for women working the fields. You also get a glimpse into camp life with dances, movies, company store and living in tents until the harvest is complete.

It also leads me to want a similar book but of the current hop season. Let’s see the faces who grow and pick and bale our hops now.

Also, love to see my last name in a book…even if he is just standing around

Scented

I have seen images of a chicken scented face mask from the fast food chain, Jack in the Box. I’m sure KFC has their version. Which got me to thinking. Why is there not a hop scented face mask? Citra on Saturday, Sabro on Sunday.

Or you could try to mimic the smell of a brew day as all the grains are mashed in. I bet more masks would be worn up around the nose if that were the case.

Come on Science, get us beer scented masks!

Virtual Hop – Week 4

More hop news from Yakima Chief via the interwebs and the virtual hop season… plus some extra tidbits from perusing what competitor Hopsteiner has going…

  • Hop blends were initially created to mimic single hops that had low supply but now tend towards charity or group blends such as Pink Boots or Falconers Flight
  • The next blend evolution may be in Cryo
  • The employees who seam up bales are really good at what must be a loud and repetitive job with high throughput pressure
  • Sad comment on fires, one of the Carpenter clan made the rueful joke, “had to light up a cigarette to get a breath of fresh air”
  • Will hop extracts be celebrated like fresh hop and whole leaf. Just doesn’t seem to have the It Factor.
  • Hop scientific research seems to be a growing field
  • Weird fact, there have been studies that show music has an impact on flavor perception
  • I really want to visit this magical Sports Center bar I never Yakima
  • Hop selection may seem fun but having two or three days where you smell nothing but hops is tiring
  • Why are there no fresh hop Festbiers or Kolsches?

Virtual Hop – Week 3

This week the hop news focuses on Fire and hop creep. Virtual Harvest from Yakima Chief via Zoom… plus some extra notes from what competitor Hopsteiner has going…

  • Wind blowing down bines was an issue as was smoke stopping work in Oregon
  • The picking schedule had to be changed on the fly.
  • Thankfully aroma hops were already picked. Alpha hops the last to get and are less sexy so small favors.
  • Dara collection and access to that data are super important. Really trying to create a continuous (almost) feedback loop.
  • Brewers can have access to lot specs nearly immediately.
  • Hop terms – Dribble Belt and Money Belt. The first cleans matter away, the latter is just the hops being moved on.
  • Hop Creep – secondary Fermentation brought on by hops. Causes off flavors and delays beer being done. Wasn’t really a problem until hazies and massive hop loads came into being.
  • The Creep can be combatted in the brewing process by timing when hops go in and clearing yeast. Some hops may cause it more so variety selection is important.
  • Before 2007 80% of hops were UN-contracted. Now 80% are contracted.
  • In 2018, 154 hop varieties were used in beers per the Brewers Association.
  • High Kiln hops might be a new term to look for.