New Hops for 2017 Excite, Entice Craft Brewers’ Minds

New year. New beers.

With brewers always looking to expand their horizons and consumers constantly pushing for new products, many brewers look to new hops varieties to help quench the thirst for newness.

Denali, Idaho 7, Skyrocket along with Lupulin Powder are just a few of the new types that will be in some brewery’s brews this year.

Denali — known first as Hopsteiner 06277 — originated from a cross between Nugget, Zeus and USDA 19058 male. The hop has a big aroma that imparts pineapple with notes of citrus and pine. It has an unusually high total essential oil content, averaging more than four grams of oil per 100 grams of raw hops.

Idaho 7 is an experimental variety from Jackson Hop Farm in Wilder, Idaho, first released in 2015.

It’s primarily used for aroma and dry hopping due to its potent aroma and flavor, but high enough alpha acids do contribute good bitterness. It has pungent tropical fruit and citrus with big notes of resiny pine and hints of black tea.

“The fruity flavor and aroma that you get from Idaho 7 is very unique,” said Lonerider Brewing Head Brewer Galen Smith.

2016UpcloseHop800x300

Gorst Valley Hops says that Skyrocket is a rebirth of an old variety molded by Mother Nature and the microclimate of Gorst Valley. It is a tropical fruit experience with little to no piney resin of twin, Chinook.

“We owe the uniqueness of Skyrocket to a process called epigenetics, or the impact of environment on genetic expression,” the Gorst Valley Hops website says.

Along with Denali and Skyrocket, Chris Riphenburg, Head Brewer of Ale Asylum said that the brewery will use a few experimental varieties from a few sources located in the Yakima Valley that they will be using in the Spawn Series pilot batch program this upcoming year.

So who gets brewers most excited for upcoming new varietals? Most said working with their vendors or seeing new products at trade shows give them a chance to test out new products.

“I usually learn about new varieties from our vendors and conferences/trade shows,” Smith said. “Many times a vendor will have beer at their booths that showcase new hop varieties.”

“The vendors bring their best,” added Eight Bridges Brewing’s Justin Beardsley.

Talking to brewing friends and discussing different recipes and hops used helps spawn ideas as well said Riphenburg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *