Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hops - no whiners, please

With all the handwringing about the current high price of hops, it's refreshing to find a creative, pro-active response such as this one from the boys at Victory Brewing: contract with a specific grower for hops.

Victory Brewing Company, an independent craft brewery located in Downingtown, PA, has brewed three small batch specialty beers at the commission of the German Hop Growers Association. The styles crafted include a Select Pils, Tettnanger Pils, and Sapphire Belgian Strong Ale. Each of these three beers were brewed to showcase the high quality hops produced in Germany to potential American brewing clients.

These filtered beers were produced as a collaborative effort between Eric Toft, American-born, German-trained Brewmaster of Private Landbrauerei Schonram, and Victory Brewing Co. The German Hop Growers Association sends Victory the hops, Eric formulates the recipe and Victory brews the beer.

The release of these specialty beers will be at the National Craft Beer Conference taking place in San Diego, CA, this week. <...>

The three styles of beer selected for small patch production reflect two areas of Victory Brewing's core strength, lagers in the form of pils and Belgian strong ales.

The Select Pils was crafted with a mix of Hallertau and Spalt Select Hops. The final alcohol content rounded off at 5.3% ABV.

The second pils, a 5.3% ABV Tettnanger Pils, was brewed with a single hop variety, Tettnang Hops. This hop came wholly from German farmer Herr Georg Bentele, the very same gentleman Victory Brewing founders Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet visited while touring Germany in 2007 with 23 thirsty Victory fans.

The final variety commissioned and brewed was the Sapphire Belgian Strong Ale. This supreme specialty beer was crafted with a Hallertau grown variety hop named Safir. To complement this hop variety and the brew to be created, a Trappist yeast was used in fermentation. The resulting alcohol content amounts to a behemoth 10.5% ABV.

"Supreme" and "behemoth" in one paragraph!

More from the press release.

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