Monday, September 10, 2007

Hop In It

In order to get the aroma and extra hit of hop in our dry-Hopped APA, we need, naturally, hops; and lots of them.

In this case, fresh Cascade hops. It's not exact, and sometimes we add more, sometimes less. It all depends on the quality of the hops. But the more the better.

It may not be the hop-bomb style that has developed a strong following the craft beer and homebrewer worlds, but its hoppiness is not to be denied.

The APA began it's life as a seasonal beer that was our version of a Hop Harvest. Being the hoppiest of our beers it soon developed dedicated fans who wanted to see it brewed more often.

A non-dry hopped version of the APA made its debut in 2004 as the Expedition Reserve APA, which was brewed to commemorate the Anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Again, the beer developed fans who wanted a pint of the hoppy brew year-round.

So, in 2005, the APA made its way onto the list of year-round beers.

The beer followed in the tradition of the highly-hopped American-style Pale Ales (where the APA's name originated). Over time, however, the desire for more hop flavor and aroma, propelled by our regular APA fans, led to some trials with dry-hopping in late 2006.

The trials involved trying several methods to best impart the hope flavor and aroma we looked for. For the smaller batches the Tap Room brews we suspend weighted bags of hops in a unitank and then move the beer into the tank.

At the Bottleworks, however, the concern was that the much larger volume would not pick up the hops evenly. Several methods were tried including a variation on the hop-back which circulated the beer through a pressurized vessel (the "hop-coffin" as it was known) containing the hops.

The method finally decided upon is similar to what is done at the Taproom. the beer is moved into a horizontal tank in which has the hops on the bottom and covered with domed stainless-steel screens. This prevents the hops from floating to the top and provides for more even exposure.

After getting the thumbs up from hop-heads within the company and our hop-craving customers, the operation was ramped up and officially became the Dry-Hopped APA.

The new beer required new packaging and as such you will now see the Dry-Dopped APA label on tap handles around town, as well as new bottle packaging in the stores.

No comments:

travel to
eXTReMe Tracker