Unlike Others, How Alora’s Peach Notes Can Wow

Courtesy Hop & Sting Brewing

Known as the Hopsteiner experimental hop 17701, newly named Alora has been wowing brewers in its unique peach characteristics while also being a lower alpha hop that can be used to not just impart lighter bitterness, but also a bouquet of fruit sensations that are going beyond just a “stone fruit” descriptor.

“I don’t think it similar to anything I’ve used,” said Hop & Sting co-founder Brian Burton, who used Alora in a Lager. “I was impressed with how well it worked in the style. It has an intense peach/apricot aroma. … Even the most novice customer got peach and thought we added juice to the beer.  It is intense, but not overpowering or chewy. Great for a light bodied Lager.”

Scuttlebutt currently uses Alora in a Japanese-style Rice Lager called Sanji.  

“While I have tried IPAs brewed with it, I felt that the peach and yuzu notes would work better in moderation with a relatively neutral grain bill,” explained Head Brewer, Adam Chittick. “I ran a few trial batches that sold very well in our taproom, using it solo and pairing it with other hops.”

Wild East Brewing in Brooklyn also used Alora in a beer from its American Pilsner/hoppy Lager line (Called Leap Beer Lager) while WeldWerks used the hop in a variation of its popular hazy IPA as a double dry hopped version of Juicy Bits.

“After evaluating its aroma and flavor, we determine which other hops would complement it well,” Skip Schwartz told Brewer Mag. “It’s quite rare for us to immediately consider a Juicy Bits variant, indicating that we were truly impressed with Alora’s sensory profile.”

READ MORE: Inside Hop Harvest Selection Day

BREWER: Are there any technical challenges or tips you have for using Alora for someone that hasn’t used it yet?
BRETT TAYLOR, WILD EAST: I can only speak from the lager perspective. My main advice would be to err on the conservative side in whirlpool and dry hop additions. A little goes a long way. Remember this hop makes wonderful IPAs, so overdoing it is easy in a delicate beer.
CHITTICK: I used Alora alone in one trial batch and then paired it later. I felt that pairing it really accentuated the flavors. In addition I tried using it as a simple whirlpool addition, and using it as a hopstand addition. I felt the simple whirlpool without bringing down wort temperature contributed to perceived bitterness and a more subdued aroma. The hopstand procedure that we typically use in IPA brewing of bringing down the wort temperature below 195F before adding the whirlpool additions allowed for a much brighter aroma and flavor.

BREWER: What do you feel are great complementary hops that go with Alora?
SCHWARTZ: I would love to see it in a beer alongside other hops that impart huge peach notes. I believe Citra, Galaxy, Nectraron, and Peacharine would all be excellent hops to complement Alora. Additionally, I am a fan of Sabro hops; I find them quite enjoyable, especially when they show strong coconut flavors with subtle cedar notes. I think a coconut peachy IPA could be really fun, different and interesting.
BURTON: On the hot side, I used a modest amount of Akoya with some Mandarina Bavaria in the whirlpool. Any noble variety and Huel Melon would pair nicely as kettle hops.

BREWER: What flavors/aromas did you expect … and didn’t expect from Alora? How did you use them to your advantage or have to alter the idea of the beer?
CHITTICK: I expected the Peach and Yuzu flavor, because that was what was advertised. What I did not expect was the sweet melon, which I don’t remember being initially advertised, but surprisingly was very prominent while rubbing the whole cones during hop selection. The advertised peach and yuzu were why I decided to use Alora in a lighter style beer, to allow them to shine. Using it alone, however, I felt wasn’t prominent enough so I paired it for later trials.  What I found most surprising, however, was the peach iced tea notes that came forward in the first full-size batch.
SCHWARTZ: I anticipated a lot of peach, apricot, orange, and yuzu. We seemed to get all of those in our Alora DDH Juicy Bits. We typically use a heavy dry hop approach with our DDH Juicy Bits, which I believe complemented the advantages of Alora. With alpha acids sitting around 8ish, we prefer to keep the IBUs relatively mild in our hazy IPAs, relying heavily on what is gained through dry hop additions.

BREWER: Do you have any ‘out of the box’ ideas for Alora that you want to share?
CHITTICK: Isn’t using Alora in a rice Lager ‘out of the box’ enough? I feel that Alora is not a typical IPA hop; I feel that it needs a milder base to truly shine! However, as I previously mentioned, it would be interesting to use it with a thiolized yeast strain.
TAYLOR: I’ll probably dry hop some foeder-aged mixed culture farmhouse style beer with it at some point.

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