It's all about the beer and finding your way to it

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hop Power

Recently I sampled the recent limited release beer from Brouwerij DeRanke- Hop Flower Power. It is a wet hopped ale that is brewed with Brewer's Gold and Challenger hops for bittering, and Saaz and Hallertauer Mittelfrüh for aroma. The 80kg of wet hops added (hops freshly picked from the vine and added to the brewkettle usually within a day) were also Mittelfrüh. It was brewed for the 15th anniversary of the the Flemish beer tasting group H.O.P.(Heerlijk Objectief Proeven).

Wet hopping was something that was commercially pioneered by Sierra Nevada in the 1990's and in the last few years it has become quite common for breweries in the US to release wet hop beers after the hop harvest in the late summer.

DeRanke generally makes beers that tend to be a bit more hoppy than much of what you find in Belgium these days. XX Bitter is an example. They use whole cone hops for their beers and tend to use european hops and not american high alpha hops. The new Hop Flower Power continues this route. This kind of hopping gives the beers less of the citrusy or floral character that you find in heavily hopped American beers.

The result is quite nice and very refreshing. The beer is a soft translucent orange with a narrow head. There is a fresh grassy nose to it. The first sip brings a sharp bitterness that quickly fades to a grassy herbal spiciness that lingers nicely on the tongue. It gets better as you work through the glass, maintaining the flavor and never burning you out with hops.

1 comment:

Blake said...

Just had what should have been very hoppy, according to their "Holy Grail for hop heads" description, but was actually not very hoppy, very sweet and almost too much. A good beer if you want to get ready for a nice nap. Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA. Maybe I should have aged it for 10 years. Until 2020 I will consider it the ambien of ales.