Well read beer geeks, or maybe just those preoccupied with trivia, may have heard that the Latin name for hops Humulus lupulus translates roughly to “wolf among the weeds.” The origins likely have something to do with the plant’s hardiness and propensity for climbing up and over everything in its path. From its ancient discovery to modern chemical analysis, proprietary varietals, and experimental blends, the common hop has always shaped the flavors and aromas of the beer we drink.
By definition, hops are an integral part of every beer, but because our year round lineup features two hop heavy IPAs both using multiple varietals, hops are a particular obsession of ours. Behind the scenes, hop contracts and forecasting must be carefully planned out well in advance to support our current production as well as beers in planning for the upcoming year.
We certainly have our favorites, but as more options become available, we can try new experimental recipes (like Empower) and continue double dry-hopping our existing beers in small batches (like Galaxy Head High or more recently Mosaic Overhead). Galaxy Head High, to use one of our more popular examples, was not an accident. We double dry hopped Head High with a half dozen different varietals with varying degrees of success before we settled on Galaxy as the best complement.
When all is said, done, and brewed however, the process remains about the end result and we’ve decided to share this with you. On Saturday June 1st at Kane Brewing, we will be hosting “A Wolf Among the Seas” – an educational hop experience featuring a dozen or more beers taking over our tasting room taps. We’ll have experimental single hop beers, double dry hopped favorites, and pilot batches of hop driven beers in development. The focus will be on learning more about different hops, but you’ll probably have fun too. More details to follow…