John I. Haas has a long, storied history developing new hop varieties, and in recent years, that experimentation has been conducted through the Hop Breeding Company (HBC), a joint venture between Haas and Select Botanicals. Today, HBC’s branded hops, including Citra®, Mosaic® and Ekuanot™, are behind some of the most well-regarded beers in the industry.
So, it’s no surprise that brewers are always asking us, “What’s next?” (Actually, they often try to find it themselves by plucking, rubbing and sniffing hops right off the vine in the Experimental Fields in Yakima. Maybe that’s why Roy Johnson likes to call it “The Field of Dreams.”) Another way to find out what’s up and coming is to visit John I. Haas at the Craft Brewers Conference, being held this year in Washington, DC (we’re at Booth #1635).
Once again, we’ll be featuring a full-flavored line up of some of our best experimentals, lovingly concocted into some exceptional brews by yours truly, and our team at the Haas Innovations Brewery. This year’s selection is arguably the most flavorful yet. We’re showcasing three experimental HBC hop varieties along with a new hop that is exclusive to Haas and a new, top-secret product that is just in its infancy.
We are bringing the sassy sisters, HBC 472 and HBC 438 dressed up in lots of different styles. (Be sure to come visit us in the fall to meet the daughter of 438 and niece of 472, she is amazing!!) HBC 472 is complicated but approachable with flavors ranging from fruit to coconut and coffee. Her sister HBC 438 is even more complex but has a softer (fruity) side. We chose to showcase them in both pale and dark malt matrices to accentuate their versatility and complexity. In addition, we brought them together in a beer called “Synchronicity” and they are truly an amazing pair.
We’re showing our newest commercialized and branded hop, Loral™ (variety HBC 291) as a Lager and an Ale. This hop is well suited for many applications, but really shines in light lagers and wheat beers. Another very exciting hop that we are showing this year is Bru-1™, a Haas exclusive that brings amazing pineapple and fruit in the aroma. We have also paired Bru-1™ with HBC 438 in a beer called “Autobahn” for an awesome flavor outcome.
Two of our favorite hops combine in a masked gem called “Masquerade.” This beer is brewed with a product in development, and we are super excited to have it at the show. Give it a try and and let us know what you think via the Untappd app—if you like it, we’ll make more.
All in, we’re bringing a 10-pack of experimental beers to this year’s CBC. Be sure to drop by the Haas booth to rub, sniff, sip and experiment some of our most exciting hops yet. We look forward to seeing you there.