After a year of remote hop selection in 2020, this September saw the return of the Firestone Walker brew crew to hop harvest in Yakima, Washington. It was great to revisit America’s hop-growing heartland in the Pacific Northwest to see our hop growers and — most importantly — rub some amazing hops at the source! We were pleased to select exceptional lots of hops from our suppliers and to spend quality time hanging with some of the farmers who grow the hops we need to bring you the IPAs you love. The collaborative relationship between hop growers and brewers is key to moving the industry forward, and we can’t wait for some of the new experimental varieties coming down the pipeline.
Fired up about getting back to hop country for harvest again, we decided to brew up a hop bomb of a Double IPA at The Propagator to honor the occasion and please our faithful hop heads. While Double Mind Haze represented the return of a year-round Double IPA to the Firestone Walker portfolio this year, some of us have still been missing the classic hop punch and focus of a West Coast-style Double IPA. Fear not, because Psychedelic Arcade is here to fulfill your hoppy dreams.
Coming in at an authoritative 9.0% ABV, Psychedelic Arcade is brewed with a base of pilsner malt for a clean and dry foundation, while a pinch of rye malt adds some structure and texture to round things out. Dextrose sugar then lightens up the body and facilitates a crisp finish, letting the hops shine. We fermented with our classic Firestone ale yeast, the English workhorse whose dry-yet-fruity profile has been key to our classic house style of West Coast hoppy ales.
Galaxy and Strata lead the hop charge with support from Mosaic, Idaho 7 and Simcoe. Galaxy is an Australian variety prized for its intensely ripe tropical aroma. While we have used some Galaxy in past limited releases, this is the first year we were able to contract enough to feature it in several beers. Strata is a newer variety out of Oregon that we originally brought in a couple of years ago, and we absolutely love it for its complex mix of ripe ruby grapefruit, dank, and tropical fruit notes. Mosaic brings its classic blend of berry, stone, and tropical fruit, while Simcoe and Idaho 7 add more notes of citrus, juicy fruit gum, and freshly cut pine. The overall blend shows off big hits of fruit-flavored candy and gum, pineapple juice, and dank, resiny hop cones.
Psychedelic Arcade is a thoroughly modern IPA, with a pale gold appearance, crisp finish, huge hop aroma, and well-rounded bitterness. This isn’t your uncle’s IBU Wars C-60 DIPA, it’s the culmination of everything we have been learning about IPA in the current era. Psychedelic Arcade is limited to just 200 cases, and its available at our California locations and our online store.