Innovation Tank - Hop Trials


Hey guys, it’s Quinn from the Innovation Team. There’s a lot going on in the Innovation room that we can’t wait to share with you. 

HOP TRIALS! Okay…this doesn’t sound that exciting, but it’s something that really gets us excited on the innovation team. A hop farm we source from in northern Idaho has plots of experimental hops that exist in very small quantities. There are thousands of single hill plants at the hop farm and every year we visit them to walk through the fields and smell the hop flowers from each plant. The breadth of aromatics is impressive, with some of these hops smelling like ripe cherries, fresh coconut, mixed berries, and juicy melons. When we get back from our trip, we take these hops and brew with them at our pilot brewery here in Chicago.  My favorite part is putting these hop trials on tap in our taproom and get some of our drinkers’ feedback on what these new hops bring to the table. We’re working on some of these now, so be on the lookout for new releases.

We have also been dabbling with some small scale barrel-aging projects for the lasy year. Most of them are saisons in wine casks, some have fruits, some have wild yeasts, some have a little bit of everything. As spring starts to tease us with the occasional 60-degree day, we’ve picked a couple casks that have a mixed berry fruit addition alongside a mixed culture of wild yeasts. This slightly funky, slightly tart, slightly fruity beer is delicate yet complex, and it’s going to be perfect for those first couple days of fake spring. I can’t wait to drink this one on the patio!

Until next time.