Imbibe Magazine did a nice piece on experimental hops and the delicious beers they turn into. The story goes from England to Boston, West Coast to East Coast. And, here’s the shocker, there’s even a little interview with Garrett. Read on, friends.
Each year, in the lush fields of the Pacific Northwest, dozens of experimental hop breeds are planted, most only identified by a string of numbers like a shadowy government project. These fledgling varieties are often the result of crossing existing strains in hopes of, say, increasing mildew resistance, amping yields or devising unique flavors. Each year, large craft breweries examine these numbered hop breeds not yet in the marketplace, hoping to answer a single question: Can this hop make a great new beer?
Often, the answer is no, but every once in a while, a hop shows serious promise. In this case, the hop is named, it graduates from lab to brew kettle and the experimentation begins. Just in time for warm weather, a handful of new hop varieties have proven their mettle and made their way into a crop of refreshing beers. With notes of earthy citrus, tropical fruit, white wine or floral tea, they’re adding distinct complexity to everything from IPAs to ESBs, and they’re inspiring brewers to craft a whole new style of summertime brews.
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