Hops in Hand – Hop Selection 2018
For me, the key for our team is to understand clearly what we intend to use this hop for and then select the lot that most clearly meets that need. For hops we intend to use in IPAs, we are looking for clear, bright fruity aromas. For other hops (like the Tettnanger that is used in Hackensack Lager) we may be looking for particular floral notes. It’s all about identifying a target and finding hops that hit the bullseye. If you’re thinking that this is important to get right, you’re correct. Once you make a selection there’s really no going back. Having a team you trust working with you is critical—there’s lots of discussion and back-and-forth, lots of checks and balances. I love taking our brew team to hop selection for that very reason. Brewing is a creative pursuit and a brewer choosing hops is like a painter choosing her colors.