Narwhal® Imperial Stout
Harvest Fresh Hop IPA - Southern Hemisphere Harvest®
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Harvest Single Hop IPA - Idaho 7 Varietal
A newly developed hop unveils a fruit-forward nose.
On our never-ending quest for exciting hop flavors we stumbled upon a pioneering hop grower in western Idaho working with a handful of new and interesting varietals. One of these captivating hops, Idaho 7, headlines the first of five bottles in our 2015 edition of the Harvest series. Complex fruity aromas of orange and apricot mesh with hints of black tea-like character and a pleasant fresh herbal bouquet. This IPA kicks off our 2015 series exploring diverse hopping methods: single hop, fresh hop, wet hop and wild hop.
We work hard to get strong hop flavors into our beers and one of the ways we do that is through dry hopping. Dry hopping refers to the addition of whole-cone hops to the fermentation tanks. The addition of hops to cold beer allows the aromatic oils and resins to infuse the beer with flavor and aroma without adding any additional bitterness.
Wet Hop versus Fresh Hop
Over recent years, there has been some confusion about the difference between fresh and wet hops. While it may seem like semantics, to us it’s an important distinction.
Wet Hops are un-dried hops, picked and shipped from the growing fields within 24 hours.
Fresh Hops are the freshest dried hops to come from the fields, typically within seven days of harvest.
Over 90% of the world’s hop harvest happens between August 31 and October 31, and these hops are used throughout the calendar year. Can hops possibly be the same on November 1, one day after harvest, as they are on July 25, nearly one year after growing in the fields? The answer is no. We think of hops like dry kitchen spices—the flavor of thyme or rosemary right after the jar is opened is far more intense than it is six months later. The same can be said for hops. There are ways to control the way hops age and to reformulate and readjust as some of the aromas fade, but there’s nothing like the magic of the first bales of hops as fresh as can be. That is the stuff dreams are made of!
Hop farmers, breeders, brewers and brokers are always looking for new and interesting hop varietals with compelling flavor characteristics and intriguing properties. Sierra Nevada has a unique relationship with hop growers and often has access to limited and experimental varieties. Some of the varietals, while interesting, don’t add enough value and never make it into commercial production, while others—like the recent hop Citra—take the brewing world by storm. Every day new varietals are being tested and some have become signature flavors for Sierra Nevada.
Brewing is as much art as science, and all beer specifications and raw materials are subject to change
at our brewers' creative discretion.
6.5% by volume
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