There likely isn’t a bigger buzzword in the entire craft beer world. Everyone wants them and can’t get enough of them. With the IPA craze that has taken over the US, hops are a dominant topic of conversation in the realm of craft beer. But hops are an important part of the beer brewing process, and they have a significant impact on the actual brew itself.
The Latin name for the cone-shaped hop flower is Humulus Lupulus, and the plant itself is actually related to cannabis (no THC here, however). Different varieties of hops can produce a wide range of flavors and aromas in beer, everything from fruity to piney, crisp to dank. The choice of hops can make or break a beer, and brewers have a large selection of hops to choose from depending on what flavors and aromas they want to showcase or complement in the beer itself. Not only what type of hop, but how much to use and when to add them is important as well.
With all of these factors influenced by hops alone, the truth boils down to this – hops are worth their hype. Not only was the Thoprock Belgian-style IPA one of our first year-round beers that we produced, but our newest beer Django is a hop bier that features a flavorful flair for the bitter and is modeled after Belgium’s own shift to the hoppy side. So, to honor the significance of hops, we’re throwing another Thopfest to let the hops show just what they can do.
Making a special appearance for the occasion will be, of course, our original Thoprock Belgian-style IPA. Additionally, Thopfest will feature another 3 hops used in beer that you’ll be able to try. We allowed our brewers the liberty to select the hops they wanted to use for the event, and here’s what they elected:
- Jarrylo – a Dwarf variety that features banana, pear, orange, and spice-like flavors and aromas
- Nelson Sauvin – aroma like Sauvignon Blanc grapes or crushed gooseberry, with underlying notes of key lime, dill and pepper
- El Dorado – tropical fruit flavors with aromas of pear and watermelon
- Wai-iti – while not a hop featured for Thopfest, the Wai-iti hops are used in our newest Django Hop Bier and produce a significant melon aroma along with hints of lemon and orange in the flavor. If you haven’t had a taste of Django yet, we highly recommend a pour!
Even from this brief list of hops that we’ll be highlighting, it’s clear that hops deserve their time in the spotlight. Amid all of the things that can influence a beer’s flavor and aroma, hops have a revered place in the brewing process. And we’re happy to have a chance to let those hops rock.
Come enjoy our Thopfest at the taproom on Saturday March 12 from 1pm to 9pm. Thopfest will run while supplies last, so be sure to get a taste while you can!