You’re familiar with their names by now – Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo, Galaxy, Sabro. These hop varietals provide a ton of incredible aroma and flavor and have skyrocketed in popularity. We utilize and love all of them. But when developing a new take on a Hazy IPA, the brewing team decided to call on an old, noble friend: Hallertau Hersbrucker.
So, what makes a hop “noble”? Well, like many things in the world of beer, the answer isn’t entirely clear. For the most part, “noble” is a crown bestowed upon hops that are grown in the “old world” of Germany and the Czech Republic. These hops have been growing in the same place for a really, really long time, and this provides a powerful sense of terroir akin to that of grape varietals. Some great examples of noble hops are German Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Spalt, Tettnang and the Czech Saaz hop from the Žatec region of Bohemia.
Noble hops contain lower alpha acids and high essential oils. Rather than strong bitterness or intense citrus and tropical fruit flavor and aroma, these hops provide more nuanced herbal, spice, and floral aromas. They commonly appear in some of our favorite styles like Kölsch, Helles, and Pilsner. So, how did these hops work when developing the recipe for an IPA like Noble Haze?
It was rather natural to take our experience with noble hops and blend our traditional techniques with the new approach of New England/Hazy IPAs. Hazy IPAs are known for their large hop additions, particularly in the whirlpool and dry hop stages. We wanted to try this technique with our Hallertau Hersbrucker hops and use it in a way to help provide depth to our Noble Haze. Not only did we create tropical and citrus juice character, but the added floral and spice notes helped create a more complex flavor and aroma profile akin to floral orange blossom honey.
We’re excited to release a beer that combines the traditions and terroir of the old world with new and exciting hop varietals like Hallertau Blanc and Galaxy. When combined, you have a fresh fruit cocktail of floral, melon, tropical fruit, and citrus character.
Published July 10, 2020