I recently wrote a story for Sip Northwest magazine about hop breeding (Summer 2017 issue, on the newsstands now). Hop breeding is the art/science of developing new varieties of hops. In putting that story together, I tasted a lot of different beers with a lot of newfangled and new-ish hop varieties. I also got to visit hop farms at harvest time and got my nose into a lot of fresh hops. I know, my job sucks, but I am not just telling you this to gloat about that, I want to turn you on to something new and cool.
I discovered a few new gems, for sure, but there’s one hop variety in particular that really captured my fancy. It’s called Strata. Right now you have a chance to taste it too. Lowercase Brewing is currently pouring Strata IPA at its taproom in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. The beer is a beautiful expression of all that Strata has to offer. Limited supply, so do not delay.
Above: a mountain of freshly harvested hops at Perrault Farms in Toppenish, WA.
This new variety of hop was developed by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences. Strata is just one of many new hops bred by OSU. Strata is being distributed by Indie Hops and thus far has only been released to a small handful of breweries on, basically, and experimental basis. Everything I’ve heard, and tasted, is positive. Likely, it will become more widely available in coming years.
Anyway, I’m quite smitten by this particular hop and I’m wondering if other people are (or will be) as enamored as I am. My flavor descriptors for Strata: mango, passionfruit, lemon and herbal dankness. If you’re around Seattle, stop by Lowercase Brewing where you can get a pint, a crowler, or a growler of Strata IPA. I’d love to hear other people’s opinions.
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