Featuring the new Cryo Pop™ blend from Yakima Chief Hops, as well as the experimental hop varieties HBC 586 and HBC 638, Order Of The Hop merges cutting edge hop aroma and flavor with a familiar West Coast-style pale ale template for a refreshingly sessionable beer with an aroma bursting with bright berry and tropical fruit aromatics.
The idea for Order Of The Hop started when Yakima Chief approached us after the announcement that Firestone Walker Brewmaster Matt Brynildson and Yakima Chief’s own Pedro (Pete) Venegas were to be nominated to The Order Of The Hop at the International Hop Growers Convention in Prague. A prestigious award in the hop-growing world, The Order Of The Hop is given to those who display exemplary service to the industry. In Pete’s case, in recognition of years of work with Yakima Chief Hops, one of the world’s premier hop companies; and for Matt, a nod to his accomplishments over the past decade-plus of promoting quality and educating brewers around the world about American hops through his work as a founding member of the Hop Quality Group and with the Hop Growers Of America.
Once we decided to brew a special beer to commemorate the honors, we got to work trialing potential hops for our recipe. Yakima Chief sent us a number of experimental and proprietary hop blends, including those made with their Cryo Hops™ processing technology, which concentrates the lupulin of the hop cone that contains most of the components that brewers prize, namely the bitter acids and aromatic oils that create the flavors that we desire in hop-forward beers. After brewing the trial batches and conducting sensory analysis with our trained team of panelists, we had a good idea of which hops we liked. The crew at Yakima Chief added their ideas for how to best utilize these hops, and we settled on a recipe.
There is nothing quite like the nostalgic quality of a good hop-forward American Pale Ale, the style that birthed the craft beer revolution in the U.S. Mixing punchy American hop flavor with sessionable balance and moderate alcohol, it’s one of those styles that is a true pleasure when done well. We decided to start with this classic stylistic template and got to work adding on our chosen modern ingredients and techniques to push the beer in a thoroughly contemporary direction.
Passion for the Pale
Malt is the soul of beer, and a classic pale ale starts with a great pale malt, in this case our trusted Rahr 2-row pale. After that we decided to do things a bit differently. A pale ale typically has just a touch of crystal malt to bring the color to a deep gold-to-copper hue. For Order Of The Hop, we decided to take a slightly different approach, using a small portion of dark Munich malt to add a hint of color as well as a lightly toasty malt flavor. This keeps the finish from getting overly sweet and stepping on the hop flavor, which can be the case with crystal malts.
With the malt situated, we turned to the star of the show: hops! We decided to feature Yakima Chief’s new Cryo Pop Original Blend™, utilizing it both in the whirlpool and for a mid-fermentation dry hop to maximize biotransformation and the bright tropical, berry, and citrus fruit aromas it is designed to feature.
We then layered on more tropical and berry notes with a second dry hop addition at the end of fermentation with the experimental hop varieties HBC 586 and HBC 638. To tie it all together with a classic touch, we decided to utilize one of our absolute favorite American varieties, Simcoe, in both the boil kettle and whirlpool for its clean and snappy bitterness and classic pine and citrus profile.
Order Of The Hop was fermented with our house ale yeast and left unfiltered for a lightly hazy appearance and maximum hop aroma and flavor. Featuring notes of mango, kiwi, and a blend of strawberry and cherry Starbursts, it’s a modern pale ale with a nod to our past and the work that generations of hop breeders, farmers, processors, scientists, and brewers have done together to make craft beer what it is today.
Thirsty for Order Of The Hop? Stop by one of our breweries in Paso Robles, Buellton or Venice, or order it from our online store.