Monday, April 22, 2013

Brooklyn Brewery: Hot and Hotter


[link to podcast page]
Brooklyn Brewery's Hot and Hotter podcast

On Friday April 12, 2013, Brooklyn Brewery's Worshipful Company of Brewers released it's latest in the series, which are unique beers formulated and brewed by a rotating host of the numerous assistant brewers working under Garrett.
Garrett with cut out of Andrew, who was otherwise motorcyclicly engaged.
Brooklyn's Assistant Brewmaster, Andrew Ety, created a split batch of golden ale, a 6.2% ABV beer made with British Pale Malt, Crystal Malt, Caramel Malt and hopped with Summit, Willamette, East Kent Golding, Cascade, and Citra hops.

Half of the batch was dry hopped with Citra hops which were kilned at 130 degrees (HOT), and the other half dry hopped with Citra hops kilned at 150 degrees (HOTTER). This was an experiment to present to the recently convened Craft Brewers Conference, to illustrate how great a difference this variation in kilning affects the characteristics of the hops.
I asked the tap masters for a small sample of both beers to compare. The aromas were very similar. I might not have detected much of a difference, if I weren't looking for it. The Hotter seemed a bit more pronounced in hop aroma -- bolder, sharper --  than the Hot.

But when it came to flavor, it was very easy to pick up the differences. The Hot had a smooth, round, somewhat soft hop flavor, though still quite assertive. The Hotter, by comparison, had a brisk, bold, sharp, aggressive hop flavor, that was a bit wild and skunky, like fresh marijuana (so I'm told). The Hotter put hops front and center in the beer. Though it probably had the same IBUs, it seemed a bit more bitter than the Hot.
Garrett with cutout of Andrew.
Garrett explained that hop growers report that West Coast brewers prefer their Citra to have characteristics akin to garlic, onion, and "weed" (hotter), while East Coast brewers are looking for more of a citrus quality.

He said that brewer Andrew was working closely on this hop topic directly with suppliers and growers, to make sure that the brewery is able to get hops that provide the bittering, flavor and aroma profiles that they're looking for. He mentioned that there is a new hop under development, which is planned for the next special Brooklyn brew: Hop 366 grown on Loftus Ranches by Patrick Smith and Perrault Farms by Jason Perrault, which has twice as much hop oil as other hops. 

This particular experiment -- Hot vs. Hotter -- definitely made its point. And, while I'm happy to be a beer guinea pig, being a more malt-centric individual, I wasn't really jazzed on this particular beer as a complete package. There was certainly a malt backbone, but I'm just not excited to have more hops than anything else in a beer. It's personal taste. So, I got my malt on at Tørst directly afterwards, with some dark, malty concoctions that soothed by bittered tongue!
Andrew, the man of the hour.

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