Hop Q&A: No Fish Tales in Use of Anchovy

After reading some articles describing sensory for Anchovy hops and them saying that it had a fresh-cut Watermelon character, Head Brewer Kevin Kowalski at CLAG Brewing admitted he thought of it to be a fish tale.

“I was a bit skeptical at first but once introduced to the beer via dry hop I was pleasantly surprised how much that aroma carried through,” he said. “I definitely think it subtly added another layer of aroma and character to the beer once it was finished.” 

The Sandusky, Ohio-based brewery has only used the Anchovy hop predominantly in Hazy IPAs so far. Kowalski said they recently brewed a Double IPA which the dry hop consisted of Anchovy, Citra, Galaxy and Superdelic hops. 

South of CLAG, in Dayton, Branch & Bone Artisan Ales’ co-founder and Head Brewer Brett Smith said they made an IPA called “Flat Filets” that was really fun to create with the new varietal.

“We made the can look like an old can of Anchovy’s that you’d buy at the market,” he said. The brewery does a single-hop series and utilized Anchovy.

“That was a big hit,” Smith said. “I really wasn’t expecting it to remind me of Citra at all so that took my initial thoughts on using it and completely opened up some new ideas.”

BREWER: What sets Anchovy apart from other similar hops? 
SMITH: For us we found it to be a bit similar to Citra but not as citrus forward. It has a unique quality that’s hard to pinpoint. Somewhere between juicy, dank, and earthy.
KOWALSKI: Anchovy has a vibrant fresh sliced Watermelon aroma I have never really experienced from other US grown hops. I was taken back by how much it really expressed that character in the beer. 

BREWER: Are there any technical challenges or tips you have for using Anchovy? 
KOWALSKI: I would recommend pairing it with less aggressive hops or using it exclusively in a lighter style beer. We added the Anchovy to the dry hop before the remaining hops and tasted the following day to try to isolate aroma and flavor for any analysis. Once we added more aggressive hops to the mix it somewhat drowned out the vibrant watermelon character. 
SMITH: Not much different than using any other new hop. We always do a hop rub before use and typically will do a single hop beer to see what we are working with. Anchovy, like a lot of other hops, plays well with others and likely shines best when paired with complimentary hops.

BREWER: What do you feel are great complementary hops that go with Anchovy? 
SMITH: Citra, Strata, Amarillo, Nelson, Motueka, Nectaron.

BREWER: Do you have any ‘out of the box’ ideas for Anchovy that you want to share? 
KOWALSKI: I think doing an American Wheat beer dry-hopped with Anchovy would be interesting. I was a big fan of 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat when it came on the scene years ago. Could be a unique play on their idea.
SMITH: Expect a West Coast Pilsner utilizing an Anchovy dry hop in the near future.

Photo courtesy CLAG Brewing

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