Worthy Brewing

Indie Hops

By in Indie Hops, OSU EHBP 0

Be part of hop varietal history

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 18:55:00


Craft beer geeks UNITE! Worthy Brewing will be holding tastings in Portland with beers brewed with hops produced by Portland-based Indie Hops and Oregon State University’s Experimental Hop Breeding Program.

“We’re looking for the public’s feedback on the aroma and taste to help the Indie Hops/OSU program with future breeding projects,” said Worthy Brewing’s Brewmaster, Dustin Kellner. “It’s a great opportunity for craft beer lovers to help choose up-and-coming hop varieties.”

Worthy’s brewery team brewed up four pale ales using the following experimental varietals:  1007-35, C1002-37, G9-1-374, and  C115L-1.​

Worthy Brewing’s team will be at the following venues holding flight tastings:
March 18 at 6-9 pm: Produce Row – 204 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214 

March 20 6-9pm: Roscoe’s – 8105 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215 

March 25 at 2-5 pm: John’s Market – 3535 SW Multnomah Blvd, Portland, OR 97219

March 31 at 6-8pm: Pacific Growlers – 11427 SW Scholls Ferry Rd, Beaverton, OR 97008

By in Indie Hops 0

For the Love of Hops…

Fri, 09 Oct 2015 18:55:00

Hops are the heart and soul of Worthy. We love everything about them – their flavor, their design, their history, the scientists who breed them, the farmers who grow them, the millers who mill them, and so on.

We love the old guard. Workhorses like Cascade, Crystal, Centennial, Chinook, Sterling, Willamette, Nugget and more. But we also can’t wait for the new generation of hops to alight our brew kettle.

Those fresh recruits are coming in fast. And we’re mega-stoked. In the next few years, Worthy will be pilot-testing more and more experimental hops that are emerging from the Indie Hops/OSU aroma hop breeding program.

My partner Jim Solberg and I started the program in 2009 with a gift to OSU of $1 million. Since then, we’ve developed dozens of new crosses (or genotypes), each with a particular aroma and flavor profile in mind.

In the past few years, the program has yielded several promising new genotypes.  The flavors range from pina colada, to pomegranite, to green apple, to lemon citrus.

In 2012, I was so excited about the promise of brewing beer with brand new hops that I had a hand in designing that I decided to build Worthy Brewing. Why let all the other brewers have all the fun? Everybody loves to taste and test new spices.

The story of hop breeding is fairly complicated. We considered telling the story with charts, graphs, numbers and academic jargon. But, in the end, hop breeding is about sex. It’s about selecting the juiciest male ova and the heartiest male and hoping for a unique and powerful offspring. The story is as old as the Garden of Eden.

So with the help of my friends I made a video. Glorya: A Hop Love Story.

Glorya is a ripe, plump and juicy aroma hop from Corvallis, Oregon.

Glorya’s mother is Perle, a royal noble land-race hop from Germany.

Glorya’s father? We’re not sure. Glorya was open-pollinated. We suspect her Daddy was a rogue, Oregon hop stud floating around the Willamette Valley.

For the past six years, Indie Hops has been working with Oregon State to develop Glorya.  She’s survived the farm trials and has performed well in our brew trials.

Enjoy the show.

In coming chapters, we’ll show you how Glorya survived the farm trials and brew trials. And, most importantly, we’ll show you how she performed on the stage where it matters most – in the pint glass.

In the very near future, Indie Hops and OSU will be releasing a variety of unique aroma hops whose genesis began in 2009.  The future is very bright. Stay tuned.


Roger Worthington


By in Hoptember Fest, Indie Hops 0

Worthy Kicks Off Hoptember Fest with Fresh Wet Hop Infused Fun

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 18:55:00

All right hop lovers, huddle up.

It’s harvest time at Worthy. Our biergarten and hopyards are loaded with big, fluffy, bright green cones that are bursting with flavor. They’re as big as beehives and you can almost hear the lupulin glands inside buzzing to bust out.

We’re going to set free these glorious sacks of hop oil, starting tonite. Starting with tonite’s mini-harvest from our biergarten. If you have ever pondered what your already hopgrageously spiced Worthy Pale or IPA would taste like if you dropped a freshly plucked wet hop in it, here’s your chance.

It’s going to go down like this. We’ve got 10 varieties of organically grown hops flourishing on the perimeter of our biergarten. At around 5pm, we’ll pluck a few dozen cones from a single variety (e.g., Centennial, Cascades, or Horizon). We’ll knock off any bugs that are visible to the naked eye (although in many countries they are edible!).

We’ll then break the cone open down the middle where unfolded you can see and snort our darling little sticky yellow glands of glory. Why the hop vivisection? Well, first, it’s cool to look at the wellspring of hop flavor. The flavor and aroma of hops are packed inside these potent yellow pods.

Second, nature designed the hop cone to protect it’s sweet nectar from the ravages of heat, rain, pests and mildews. By exposing the glands, beer brewers and now you have the chance to maximize the contact between your beer and the fun bags.  Science has measured over 250 oils in many hop varieties (and there might be more).  Some oils taste like grapefruit, others like sandalwood, others like licorice.  What flavors will you notice?

That’s the everlasting and intriguing ponderable. What difference, if any, will you detect?  Forgive me for going full geek here, but truly the best way to measure any difference is to compare the test sample with the baseline assay (is he saying buy two pints?).  Try an already wonderfully hopped Worthy IPA or Pale first and inventory the flavors. Then order the same beer but douse it with a wet, unkiln dried, unprocessed fresh hop.

Does the fresh, wet hopped beer add anything? More tang? More pop? More chlorophyllic, grassy goodness?  It’s weird to conflate color, light and flavor but does it taste greener and brighter? We know adding lemon to tea adds flavor, as does fresh basil to pizza. Do you get an amplification of the baseline flavors or something brand new? Pray tell.

Another query.  Should you worry about adding more straight up bitterness to your already studiously balanced bev? We don’t think so.  The IBUs in your already balanced Worthy pale or IPA won’t jump.  Brewers can extract the hop’s bittering acids only when the hops are boiled. (Geek Alert! Don’t call me out on this if not 1000% correct).

A few more things.  Since we won’t be drying our hops, and about 96% of a hop cone consists of water, the other parts mainly consisting of oils and resins, they’ll compost in the ambient air rather quickly. That means we’ll need to dash out to the garden to puck ‘em and dash back in to “filet” and drop them into your glass.  Hop oils are volatile and tend to oxidize PDQ, so no dilly dallying around.

Next, our biergarten hops are organic, which means we haven’t sprayed or treated them.  We’ll try to knock of any bugs we see, but no guarantees (talk about new and exotic flavors!).  Whatever you do, don’t drown our lady bugs! Set them free. We love nature’s little hop scrubbers.  No mite or aphid ever withstood the assault of the voracious lady bug.

And this. Hop oils take a while to extract and dissolve in solution. Some hop oils love water, others don’t. You may not get an instant hop high. During dry hopping, studies have shown it takes 4-6 hours to extract the bulk of a properly designed hop pellet’s oil.

Finally, have fun. Most of us love the taste of a pale or an IPA, but we really don’t know why. We hope that this fresh wet hop experiment will poke your curiosity so you’ll want to learn more.  At Worthy beertopia, we may not have all the answers, but we’ve got a decent sized list of interesting questions. Alas, we have a limited supply of fresh cones and they’ll go fast, so hop on down.




For your reading pleasure, we recommend:



Organic Worthy Cascades waiting to be plucked.

Pluck me! Open me! Unleash my nectar!

We’ll harvest around 5pm-ish. Knock off the lady bugs. Drop ’em in your pale or IPA. Get ’em while they’re wet and fresh!

Lupulin gland gold! Ponder the places you’ll go.

Fillet the wet hop, drop it in, sink it low, and let the glands go. It may take a bit for the juices to flow. Cruel fate!

Don’t forget to wash those fingies! No off flavors, please.

Going deep for maximum oil/resin to beer contact. Extract nature’s goodness.

More piney, floral, citrusy, greener, brighter? Please tell us.

Science in the pursuit of sensory pleasure! Enjoy your Worthy Hoptember Fresh Wet Hop experiment.
By in Indie Hops 0

Grow Baby Grow!

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 18:55:00

They’re going off. Our little green girls are starting to explode.  Such vigor! Such Force Vitale! Such yearning for the…. male pollen.

Ahem.  Well, that’s what usually happens. After a slow start – we just transplanted our 23 hop varieties in late May – our noble flowers are hungry.  They’re awash in hot sunlight. They’re thriving in plenty of water. They’re bursting with the yellow lupulin nectar. So what are they hungry for?

Pollen. Nature designed Humulus Lupulus to grow and grow fast at this stage of their reproductive cycle. They sense imminent fertilization and are pouring their energy into more and fluffier cones, longer sidearms, and the prospect of fertilized seeds.

Alas, our nubile nymphs will have to wait. It’s conceivable that a stream of wild type male hop pollen may waft in over the Cascades, or from a nearby garden, and do the deed.  I guess it’s possible.  But their loss is our gain.  Worthy plans on harvesting and brewing with these veritable beehives of hop honey, and the presence of seeds can spoil the fun.

Here’s a Fun Fact Detour: Did you know in many countries it’s illegal – verboten! – to grow male hop plants within a few miles of commercial hopyards? I don’t know if the hop cops will throw you in jail, but exposing those fertile flowers to the male mist is a crime of sorts. The reason? Brewers do NOT like seeds.  They give off nasty flavors.  Hop merchants, as well as brewers, will specify with growers that the seed content shall be less than a few percentage points of the total weight.  We can try to deter knuckleheads, but generally a portion of a yard will get “impregnated,” as we can’t stop Mother Nature from sewing the seeds of procreation.

Here at Worthy we are proud of our girls.  2013 has been designated as our “establishment year.” Hop farmers as a rule don’t string their plants in the first year. Instead their focus is on developing the root system of the fresh crop.  They’ll typically let the hops grown a few feet and then prune. We decided to string our hops because we were curious how they’d grow in East Bend in the special imported soil we’re using inside their raised beds.  Also, we wanted to check out the variation between the 20 plus cultivars.

Our conclusion: Amazing! The Chinooks are simply exploding. We measured cones 2.5 inches long and an inch wide. Big as a beehive!  The Crystals, Cascades, Meridian, Santiams and Centennials have also shown incredible robustness.  We can’t wait to brew with these organically grown beauties. We now have three systems we can test them with – the master 30 barrel brew system, the 5 bbl pilot, and our trusty home brew system.  Chad, Dustin and Jacob are champing at the bit to pluck and toss our Worthy hops into the kettle.

Is vigorous cone development, or lack thereof, a predictor of the size of the yield in the “Baby Year,” i.e., the first year of harvest? Not necessarily.  Our Goldings, Ultras, and Perle may not be sprouting as generously as the heat-loving Chinooks, but this is no reason to conclude our slow starters will underperform in their mature year (the 2nd harvest year).  That’s what’s so cool about hops and plants in general – they may belong to the same species, but there’s big differences in their size, color, cone shape, disease resistance and yield. Even the location of the plant in relation to the sun can influence the cone and side arm development.

Next time you’re at Worthy, please feel free to take a tour of our hopyards.  We’ve identified most of our hops with a placard that indicates the name of the cultivar, the year of its release, and the “inventors” (e.g. “Haunold/OSU” or “USDA/WSU” or “OSU/Indie Hops.”) In late September we’ll harvest our hops and by the time Oktoberfest rolls around we should have a few “home grown” brews for you to sample.

We’re very proud of our hop family and can’t wait to brew with them and share our bounty with you.


Break out your camera phone! How many times have you seen barley sharing the same soil with hops? At Worthy we are showcasing four varieties of barley, courtesy of our friends at OSU. Just add water, yeast and that old brewer magic!

We’re very pleased with the vigor of our three experimental hops, which were bred in 2010 by our friends at OSU and Indie Hops. Can’t wait to be the first to brew with a brand new, genetically distinct hop. Much adventure awaits.

Chinooks: Big as a Beehive! These dual purpose, heat loving hops are exploding! Come by for a rub and sniff.

Chinooks have historically struggled in the moist Willamette Valley, but they’re busting out here in East Bend, Oregon.

Cascades. A Worthy craft beer powerhouse. Perhaps the most popular hop variety among craft brewers.

The Crystals are looking very happy. The perfect aroma hop for our IPA and Pale.

The Santiams, another one of Dr. Haunold’s four Hallertauer analogues, also enjoying the hot days and cool nights.

Mothership: Meet Your Baby

Tue, 09 Jul 2013 18:50:00

We’ve been very pleased with our 4-vessel, 30 barrel Mothership.  Chad, Dustin and the Worthy brew team have done an amazing job achieving an impressive array of premium quality beers on our new production system.

But it’s about to get crazy, in a good way.

On August 1, Worthy will spank the steel bottoms on its newest addition to the brewhouse family, our new 2-vessel, 5 barrel pilot system, which we’ve proudly named the Worthy Wunderkid.  Naturally, she’s much smaller than her Mother, but this baby’s quick, resourceful and precocious.

She’ll be able to help us perfect the recipes we currently feed our Mothership. Our Wunderkid will also allow us the freedom to tinker with new recipes, new styles, new and exotic ingredients, and even recipes without a formal style. In other words, on this new pilot we’ll be able to probe new off-world colonies, sort of like in Blade Runner. Sort of.

Take a gander at her.  The Wunderkid is built for speed, power and easy handling. One vessel is a combined mash and lauter tun. The other is the brew kettle and whirlpool. We will be able to brew twelve 50 liter kegs per batch, which is big enough to slake the thirst of our pub guests, but not so big that we’d feel too bad about deep sixing a batch that turned out to be unworthy.

With two mini-fermenters, we’ll have the capacity to brew up to six new seasonals every month. Imagine that, more than four seasons per month, every month.

From a practical standpoint, the Wunderkid will allow us to brew beers that wouldn’t make sense on the Mothership. We’ll be able to use exotic or grotesquely expensive (or both) ingredients for special one-offs. We’ll be able to satisfy what may only be a small cross section of our clientele with strange or whacky brews (chili beer anyone? Bacon flavored beer?).

And, drum roll please, we’ll be able to experiment with experimental hops. Yes. It’s no secret Worthy’s big on bringing new and exciting flavors from genetically new and exciting hops to the ever-demanding and damn near insatiable craft beer drinking public. You guys and gals are smart. And you demand something new.  Thanks to our friends at Oregon State and Indie Hops, by the year’s end we’ll be feeding our Wunderkid with new aroma hops that OSU and IH intellectually conceived and began breeding in 2009.

Where 10 pounds of hops would barely make up 30% of the overall hop bill on our Mothership, it could be the entire hop bill on our nifty Wunderkid. It will allow us to create truly unique “one offs” for our pub that no one else would have the ability to emulate. It is the equivalent of cooking for 2 versus 200. We’ll be able to shine the light on discrete ingredients or combinations of same.

Sours. Barley Wines. Barrel aged brews. Even traditional pilsners, lagers and hefes with a special twist or two.

Come on by in early August and be the first to decide whether any of our “one offs” got the legs to make it the Bigs.








Mon, 04 Mar 2013 18:55:00

Ahh yeah, Sunday afternoon … time to sip on a Worthy Kolsch, munch on an anchovy pizza after a delightful morning cross country skiing up at Meissner’s and give thanks.

Want to thank everyone who’s come out to taste our beers and eat our food. The support has been overwhelming and we’re as grateful as we are motivated. In fact, we’re already drawing up plans to double the size of our kitchen and expand our restaurant.

The kitchen staff has been busting a hump back and frankly it’s a joy to watch. The action, the speed, and the sound blend the grace and elegance of ballet and the bump and grind of rugby.  Love the guys and gals chopping, kneading, sautéing and decorating the dishes with that artistic touch.


Chad all gassed up on Imperial whole cone vapors wafting from our hopback
In the brewhouse, Chad and Dustin have been going all out.  We’ve got a doppleback that’s been lagering the past week which we will be pleased to keg this Friday. We are also tapping our second batch of Worthy Imperial IPA this week.

My oh my, there’s only a few things better than the aroma filling up our brewhouse on Imperial mash-in day (and those things are better left unmentioned here).  For you hopheads, we’re talking about 5.5 pounds of Oregon grown hops per barrel. That’s a whole lotta herbal, flowery and citrusy aroma all rolled into one rolling cloudbank of mesmerizing, brain-tingling whiffery.


Worthy Hop House. Bona fide hopyard poles courtesy of Goschie Farms.
Can’t wait to get the rest of our fermentation and conditioning tanks installed. We’re expecting delivery before Mid-March…Also, excited about the delivery of our 5 barrel pilot brew system, which we expect in June. Indie Hops recently invited over several local brewers to do a “rub and sniff” on 16 experimental hop varieties.  The panel zeroed in on a couple of keepers, which we hope to brew with later this year.

Speaking of hops, the Worthy Hop Yard, Herb Garden and Hop House are progressing nicely.  If all goes well, we will plant 51 varieties this May, including 5-6 experimental varieties, and a few ornamentals. The focus will be on the public varieties released under the leadership of Dr. Al Haunold from 1970 to 1999.


Solar Powered Beer. We’re told Worthy has the largest array of PV panels in central oregon.
We’re gearing up for the Hop House Dedication and Grand Opening on April 5th. Now that’s going to be a day to remember. We’ll be dedicating the Hop House to Dr. Haunold, a living legend.  If you want to shake hands with hop green greatness, this is your chance.  We’re now in the process of choosing a band to help us break in the brewhouse proper.

A few other tidbits…. Working up relationships with local pig farmers and cattle ranchers in which we’ll supply the spent grain and hops and they’ll deliver choice cuts down the road.  Have a buddy who’s agreed to sing to and strum for the stock, which I know sounds touchy-feely “Portlandia” but we think it’s healthy and “humane.”  My buddy, who’s a vegan, has even agreed to taste the bacon and steak on account he knows the animals were fed and treated well.

Can Do… We’ve ordered all the parts to complete our Vimercati canning line. And we just ordered our bottling line. So get your video cameras ready.  This will be a melodious symphony of clanking cans and glass. Both lines should be operational by late June.

Keep movin and groovin.



And the beat goes on. The talented Ms. Rose polishing the beets back inda kitch.