Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Hop Varieties: 10 Years from Test Plot To Tasty Brew

We don't recycle too much news here at Growler Fills, but I thought this article from OregonLive.com was more than interesting enough to pass along.   That's particularly true when it mentions one of my all time favorite beers, Deschutes' Hop in the Dark.  We loved this seasonal beer so much last year - its debut year - that we ended up consuming several cases.  Blame us if you didn't find it around Missoula.  It was released again earlier this month, though I haven't seen it out in area stores yet. If you see it, be kind enough to send us a tip.

The Citra hop, featured in the article, has definitely caught on like a Montana wildfire, and not just with commercial brews from the big boys.  Blackfoot River Brewing in Helena recently brewed a version of their excellent Single Malt IPA using Citra hops and, if memory serves, some other local breweries have been experimenting with it as well.


  1. Just got back from a whirlwind tour to PDX, and Widmer's Gasthaus was serving an all-Citra IPA. It was entirely awesome. Citrusy, obviously, but tropical also. It was everything I love about hops (aroma, flavor, esp on the fruit/citrus side) and nothing I don't (pine/resin/tongue-splitting bitterness.) Sadly I think it is only available at the pub.
    ....Heh just read the link *after* writing the comment. The Widmer IPA is mentioned in there too so now I remember the name, X114 as in experimental variety 114...yum.

  2. I'm jealous. It's been a few years since I had a chance to cruise around Portland and check out the craft beer scene. Widmer released X114 in April in six packs as the first in their rotating IPA series. It's supposed to be out through August, so you might be able to enjoy quite a bit more of it. I agree with you on the tongue splitting bitterness, but I do love the citrus and pine sides of hops. You've definitely found a great hop if you're partial to citrus.

  3. Hi Alan, Glad you like the Citra hop! That hop along with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Sorachi Ace are all pretty much impossible to get right now if you didn't already have a contract. In order for us to make the Citra IPA, we had to swap some of our Simcoe. We just made another swap to get more, so there will be some more beers using Citra coming from the Blackfoot in the near future. We're also on the verge of locking in a supply of Citra for the coming years....-Brian @ Blackfoot

  4. That's good news, Brian. As long as trading away some Simcoe doesn't mean a shortage of Single Malt IPA! Not sure we could handle that.