FRIENDS, ROMANS, COUNTRYMEN, LEND ME YOUR EARS (erm, eyes?)
Why, what the hell have you done now?
After dialling our DDH Pale Ale recipes of late, we decided to do something fun and interesting to escape the old existential lockdown clouds, and bang out a triple release of snazzy new duduhuhs (that’s how DDH is pronounced).
Pah, single hop, single shmop. What’s the big deal?
The big deal is we’ve got three experimental hops – you know, those ones that are so new they’re just numbers. You can get the
lockdown lowdown on them in a premium-style hopped-up ale-beverage before they get a funny new name and everyone is raving about them.
How DO you do it?
Well, to be honest, single hop beers can be a bit of a tricky pickle. Sometimes, even when you use the exact same ingredients, temperatures, timings and equipment to make the base beer, what should be identical batches of wort can turn out differently to each other (because commercial brewing is super fun).
To ensure that the individual hop varieties could be enjoyed in
self-isolation we split each batch of wort across the three FVs. That means that each FV comprises each brew equally and are therefore, roughly, pretty much, “Exactly The Same” canvas upon which to paint a single hop masterpiece! Phew.
Anyway dem hops tho amirite?
Right! The hops selected for this triple threat of DDH Pale Ales are all experimental varieties we have obtained with the help of Yakima Chief Hops. They are named HBC 522, HBC 586 and HBC 692.
What’s an HBC when it’s at home?
HBC is the Hop Breeding Company, a joint venture between Yakima Chief Ranches and John I Haas.
Never heard of them.
Well these guys brought a lot of the big name hops you know and love to the market, such as HBC 394, HBC 369 and HBC 438. You know them as Citra, Mosaic and Sabro.
Shut the front door!
We absolutely will not. From being thought up to getting a brand name can take up ten years or more for some hop varieties, so brewers are always excited to get their hands on the latest super-juicy super-soldiers to be developed. The three we are using for Friends, Romans, Countrymen are new kids on the block and each have very appetising attributes.
What are the tasting notes already?
We don’t want to be too prescriptive in what you should expect to smell and taste from these hops, as we don’t want to influence your thoughts too much. It’s important to us to get useful feedback on these beers and also for you guys to have fun trying them out, so we’ll give a bit of info on each one and leave you guys to reel off the shopping list of fruits when you taste them, eh? 😉
OK so what’s the deal with them, then? Tell us something at least.
Hmm, well, since these hops are young, single and ready to mingle, here’s a little profile about them before you go on your blind date together. Saucy.
HBC 522 (Friends)
Timeless Americana vibes, this hop likes long walks in wet valleys and feeling the sun on its face. Very outdoorsy. Looks a bit grungey, knows its way around the gym, and is only into guitar music.
HBC 586 (Romans)
Bit of an influencer but also takes the piss out of themselves. Fit and knows it. Likes to go somewhere hot on holiday, spends a lot of time in coffee shops of all kinds 😉 and loves the ‘gram.
HBC 692 (Countrymen)
Who is she? Everyone wants to copy her look. Tastemaker who knows exactly what people like. Has a skincare ‘regime’ and a range of candles. Everyone stares whenever she walks in the room.
How do we get our hands on them?