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Hops Insider: Keeping Up with the New Hop Products

New hop-derived products for aroma and flavor are appearing faster than brewers can learn how best to use them. Stan Hieronymus is here with a primer.

Stan Hieronymus Aug 16, 2021 - 11 min read

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Photo: Courtesy Oast House Oils

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How do you brew a thoroughly modern IPA using Mosaic, Ekuanot, Amarillo, and Centennial hops—but without adding whole cones or pellets?

Here’s how Colorado breweries New Terrain and Odd13 did it recently, for a collaboration beer they called Kame Majik: They chose CO2 extract and steam-distilled hop oils from Hopsteiner, a flowable hop-based product called Incognito from John I. Haas, and additional oils distilled from freshly picked, unkilned hops by Montana-based Glacier Hops Ranch.

Untappd members liked the IPA well enough to give it a cumulative score of 3.83—not as high a rating as either brewery’s most popular beers, but certainly not a flop. Nonetheless, New Terrain cofounder Josh Robbins does not consider it a success.

“The combination of oils doesn’t [measure] up to the whole hop,” he says. “They are good, but they don’t replace hops.”

But New Terrain isn’t about to quit using advanced hop products. They are valuable tools—among other things, they add intense and unique flavors, increase beer yield, and help to mitigate hop creep—that become more powerful when brewers understand how to best use them. New Terrain’s brewers keep a spreadsheet to track new hops and hop products that interest them. Neither list is getting any shorter.

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