The Craft Brewer’s Conference is a special time of year for everyone at John I. Haas. It continues to be one of the biggest brewing events of the year, and always proves to be a great excuse to share time with friends and customers from around the country.
This year’s CBC was particularly bittersweet. Since so many folks were traveling to Washington, DC for the event, we took the opportunity to throw the first of many retirement events we’re having for our friend, colleague—and some might say industry icon—John Gorman. We shared some truly great memories of John’s incredible career in this industry. And looked back on a few of many lessons he’s taught us as we toasted John’s promotion to Haas Special Ambassador. After 55 years in the industry, we know it will be hard for John to slow down, but we certainly hope he and Patsy enjoy retirement…and we look forward to having a beer with him in the garage soon.
Back at the event, we unveiled a new product called FLEX™, a flowable CO2 extract made purely from hops. We anticipated interest in FLEX™ from brewers who had experience with CO2 extract, but were also excited to find that many brewing purists were well-educated about the product—and were looking forward to trying it. As the craft industry continues its growth, we know brewing efficiency (and ease of operations) will be top mind. Give us a call for a sample today.
For us, the CBC has always been about the sensory experience—giving folks a chance to rub and sniff some of our most popular hops, or to get their hands on some of the new experimental varieties. Representatives from all across the Barth-Haas Group were in from Germany, UK and Australia, along our friends from Willamette Valley Hops, and they brought some incredible hops to try from around the world.
We also had experimental hops available in a more user-friendly format: 10 beers featuring everything from Loral™ to BRU-1™. Virgil McDonald, who heads up the Haas Innovations Brewery, was interacting with many of the tasters of the experimental beers. “The excitement with the new hop varieties and our newly released FLEX™ was really high,” he said. “We showed some new products that the brewers were anxious to try—the reactions seemed great.”
This year, we experimented with the Untappd mobile app to gather some reactions as well. The comments for each beer were pretty nice, especially considering the Untappd users tend to be a savvy bunch. Overall, Tropica (brewed with experimental hop HBC 438) was well received, earning a rating of 3.92 out of a possible 5, which is a good score on Untappd. Masquerade (Citra® and Mosaic®) had nearly the same score—and, because it was made with a top-secret ingredient, the intrigue was high. Piña Bru-Lada (Bru-1™) drew a lot of attention and check-ins—“Superb. Clean fruity and unusual. Could drink it all day.”–one user said. We couldn’t agree more.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed the beers, tried the hops and, of course, just stopped by to visit. We certainly enjoyed sharing another CBC with you.