The Craft Brewers Conference is always an enormous amount of fun, but this year we are especially excited. For the first time ever, public hop breeders are directly engaging brewers to help decide which experimental hop varieties will be scaled up, and we’re involved!
Working in conjunction with the Brewers Association, we will be hosting the experimental hop variety evaluation station at booth 3209. The results of this study will help determine the future hop pallet available for the industry to use.Here’s how it works:
Working with public hop breeders, the Brewers Association and DraughtLab procured promising hop varieties that are currently being grown on a very small scale.
The hop samples will be freshly ground, blind coded and sealed in small jars for brewers to open, sniff and describe using the DraughtLab software.
In addition to generating hop aroma descriptions for each variety, participants will be asked for their overall preference. This way we capture both analytical sensory information and hedonics without one directly influencing the other.
Data will be analyzed to help the industry better understand the aroma drivers of liking and which hops the industry is interested in utilizing. It’s a win win win! Breeders will focus on brewer-preferred aroma profiles, growers will grow the hops that brewers want to buy and brewers will achieve the flavors they desire in their beers.
We will have new varieties to evaluate every day, so take a few minutes to swing by booth 3209 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to help determine the future of hop aroma in the craft brewing industry.