How Junkyard & Schlafly Utilize Ariana in Hop Exploration

A newer German dual hop​ that leans more toward the aromatic side of the boil that isn’t the normal hop one would expect from a European varietal. Schlafly Lead Brewer Jared Williamson was first introduced to Ariana in 2017 at The Hop Research Center in Hüll, a small village in Bavaria in Southern Germany.

“I was immediately excited that they were cultivating new German varietals that had a much more pronounced fruity characteristics than normally associated with German hops,” he told Brewer.

Once Williamson returned to the St. Louis headquarters he ordered some Ariana for Schlafly and brewed a SMaSH trial batch to explore the new hop.

“While the beer displayed many of these fruity characteristics in the nose, it was also still very clean in the finish, like many other traditional German hops,” Williamson explained. The brew team then used Ariana in a Keller Pils, and also in a German-hop inspired DIPA (along with Callista and Hallertau Amarillo).

​In Moorhead, Minnesota, Aaron Juhnke explained that Junkyard ​Brewing ​did a NEIPA called “Ariana Fonzie” with Ariana in 2018 and a double dry-hopped version in 2019.

“I remember Ariana having a rather soft expression with notes of citrus, berries, and some melon,” he said of the batches. “The citrus and berry components are what interested us most about this hop.

“We generally try to avoid a lot of melon character in our hoppy beers, but a touch of it can be nice and add some fullness and juiciness to a beer.”

​BREWER: What sets Ariana apart from other similar hops?
WILLIAMSON: These newer German varieties retain classic Noble German hop characteristics while also embracing what brewers and consumers are looking for in new hop aromatics that are tropical and juicy, etc. What really sets Ariana apart from these newer German hops is that it is also a high alpha acid hop, and can be dual-purpose for both bittering and aromatics.
JUHNKE: If you’re looking for a mellow hop expression, then Ariana is worth a shot all by itself, and we got good feedback on our NEIPAs that highlighted Ariana.

BREWER: What flavors did you expect…and didn’t expect from Ariana? How did you use them to your advantage or have to alter the idea of the beer?
WILLIAMSON: With our single hop trial batch, we expected the tropical fruit, but we also had a fresh berry jam note from the hop as well. It was also very clean in the finish, so it did not linger like many American hops do. This is where the idea to try them in a Keller Pils came from: good aromatics up front but still clean and sharp finish.

​BREWER: Are there any technical challenges or tips you have for using Ariana for someone that hasn’t used it yet?
WILLIAMSON: If you’re looking to brew classic German or European styles with Ariana, it will give you some aromatics that might take it out of the expected beer profile. For us, the Keller Pils was a fun way to incorporate Ariana into an old​-​school style, but I don’t think it would fit into every classic style.

BREWER: Do you have any ‘out of the box’ ideas for Ariana that you want to share?
WILLIAMSON: I think a fruity new school take on a Weissbier could be a fun trial for our pilot system.
JUHNKE:​ ​Brewers looking for more punch or intensity could try pairing this hop with a small amount of a more intense variety to pull out or highlight different aspects of Ariana. For example, Citra would probably bring out more of Ariana’s orange and citrus components, and a berry-forward lot of Mosaic might emphasize the berry-notes in Ariana.

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