Reading the title of this blog post many beer enthusiasts will mutter “What about the yeast? And the grains?”. Yes fair point. Many beer styles are defined by their use of specific yeast strains or specialty malts. Yet modern craft beers are about hops.
In particular American craft beer is all about this bitter herb. Big bold hops, often with exotic flavors. Fruity (melon, peach, passion fruit etc), floral, citrussy, grassy, herbal, pine-tree like hops… you name it. Many new varieties have been developed in the States over the past decades. Consequently, new flavors were introduced to the world of beer. In particular American craft brewers have developed new beers and even new beer styles (notably American IPA and double/imperial IPA) to showcase these exciting new flavors.
At ABC we honor this tradition. We develop our beers around the bittering herbs we use. In one particular beer we use another bittering herb in addition to hops: carqueja (a wild herb with yellow flowers) . Our Flower Power beer is noteworthy because as far as we know it is the only beer in the world brewed with this herb.
One of the ways we have deepened our relationship with hops in by growing them ourselves. We have tried several varieties and have had good results with Cascade hops. Cascade is one of the defining hops of the US craft beer revolution. It was developed in 1971 by Jack Horner at Oregon State University and it was named after the Cascade mountain range. We have used this hop in several of our beers. Often in combination with other hop varieties.