Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:55:00
BEND, OR. – September 20, 2017 – This week, Worthy Brewing began bottling Strata IPA, the award-winning beer that features the new, multi-layered aroma hop created by Oregon State University and Indie Hops.
“This is a proud day for Worthy, as well as for all the scientists, students, farmers and brewers who helped select, cultivate and polish Strata, formerly known as X-331,” said Roger Worthington, owner of Worthy Brewing. “Corvallis has been a Garden of Hop Eden for decades and we’re happy to see OSU add another buzzworthy hop to its trophy cabinet.”
Strata IPA has it all. From terra firma, it has notes of pineapple and watermelon, with a whiff of herbal dankness. From the jungle canopy, the citrusy flavor of mango and passion fruit. And from the outer rim, delightful hints of peaches and pine.
After launching as a draft-only offering earlier this year, Strata IPA has racked up several awards, including a gold medal at the Oregon Beer Awards in the hoppy sessionable ale category. At 6.5% ABV and 60 IBU, Strata IPA is an amazingly well-balanced beer with a unique, “terpelicious” aroma.
Dustin Kellner, Brewmaster at Worthy Brewing states: “Getting access to this hop during its “X” phase was exciting for our brew team. We brewed four different pilot batches trying to find how best to capture its unique flavor and aroma and I love what the team came up with. Strata is a brewery favorite.”
Worthy is packaging Strata IPA in 22 oz bottles which will be available in retail outlets throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and select regions in Northern California.
As more of the hop is available after next year’s harvest, in late 2018 Worthy intends to package Strata IPA in cans. With a high oil content and 12-14% alpha acid profile, Strata has been acclaimed as a “one-stop shop-hop.”
Tell us what you think.
Drink up. Dream on.
Big day for Indie Hops. Jim Solberg and Matt Sage. Not pictured: X-331 Hop Meister Dr. Shaun Townsend from Oregon State University.
Aroma Hops Breeding Program develops, grows new Strata Hop
The Daily Barometer
By: Keana Pigg Practicum – Nov 6, 2017OSU partners with Indie Hops to introduce sensory-complex IPA craft beer.The award-winning hop, known as Strata for its layered skunky resinous aroma, has been in the Oregon State University Hops Breeding pipeline since early 2009 and now has brewers, craft beer lovers and distributors waiting for more of it.
OSU’s Aroma Hops Breeding Program contributes to the university’s recognition of being the state’s largest public research institution and is close to releasing its first hop variety this winter.The Aroma Hops Breeding Program, directed by Dr. Shaun Townsend, assistant professor, senior research of crop and soil science, is a breeding program for hops, a commodity principally used in the beer-brewing process, according to Townsend.
“The main goal of the breeding program is to develop new aroma hop varieties that are desired by the craft beer industry and suited to Oregon growing conditions,” Townsend said via email. “The Aroma Hops Breeding Program is a partnership between Indie Hops and OSU.”
According to Townsend, Indie Hops is an Oregon-based hops merchant that serves the craft beer industry.
Click here to read the full article
X-331 Hop Meister Dr. Shaun Townsend
X-Hop beers on tap at Worthy Brewing
By: Jon Abernathy – Dec. 7, 2017 Worthy Brewing Co. continues to provide one of the more interesting brewery destinations in the region. Beyond the brewery, pub and beer garden, visitors are treated to the sights of growing hops (in the summer), the greenhouse and Garden Club, and, completed this year, the domed observatory. At its core, however, Worthy is still about the beer, and this year the brewery has been bustling with several notable projects.
The brewery showcased a new hop variety, Strata, with the release of the eponymously named Strata IPA early in the year. Worthy has a special connection to the development of this hop, as owner Roger Worthington also owns hop supplier Indie Hops. Indie Hops collaborates with Oregon State University’s hop breeding program to develop new strains of hops.Click here to read the full article
Tue, 05 Sep 2017 18:55:00
Just in from our partners at Coleman and Goschie Farms in the Valley: Strata has been harvested, plucked, dried, conditioned and baled. The quality is stratospheric and the yields are strong!
This is great news. It means that we’ll have plenty of terpelicious hops to continue to advance our Strata IPA draft program. In addition, we’ll soon be introducing Strata IPA as a seasonal release in a 22 oz bottle.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the Strata story.
In a nutshell, Strata (formerly known as X-331) is an open pollinated German born Perle hop that was growing in a backyard in Corvallis. We spotted it in 2008 or so and began breeding with it in 2009. Our friends a Oregon State put it through the disease and pest gauntlet and the strongest plant was propagated and planted out in experimental and eventually commercial yards near Silverton and Independence, Oregon.
Along the way, Worthy and several other brewers nationwide began brewing with this pungent little beauty and discovering all sorts of interesting aromas and flavors. The first time Worthy launched Strata IPA in early 2017 we won a gold medal at the Oregon Beer Awards.
Planted, Pollinated, Discovered, bred, tortured, selected, grown, harvested, milled and brewed in Oregon! Many thanks to our friends at Oregon State University, Indie Hops, Coleman and Goschie Farms, all the brewers nationwide that have pilot brewed with Strata, and of course all of our customers who have made the gold medal worthy Strata IPA the most popular beer at Worthy Brewing’s pub here on the Eastside of Bend.
For more about Strata’s history, agronomics, oil profile (why does it smell like pot?), terpelicious flavor profile (grapefruit, passion fruit, pine, and more), please watch this video “Chasing Flavor” by clicking on the image below.
Worthy will be bottling Strata IPA for release in October. In the meantime, we will continue to offer Strata IPA on draft at bars and restaurants throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Strata – your one stop shop hop.
Strata IPA – a many-layered IPA with a distinct Oregon-centric terpiffically tasteworthy flavor.
Mon, 26 Jun 2017 18:55:00
Ok hop fans here’s the skinny.
We’re fielding alot of questions on why we are not bottling or canning Strata IPA. The Indie Pale Ale, as well as it’s namesake hop, are both developing fan clubs. It’s an Indie Pale Ale, as opposed to India, because as previously reported the hop is the brainchild of Indie Hops and Oregon State.
Some beer lovers say it’s the uniquely satisfying grapefruit, mango and pine flavor. For others it’s the smooth, dank finish. The brewers are loving it’s one-stop-shop versatility, whether as an aroma or bittering hop.
But everybody – the brewers and the hop heads – agree that they want more. The rub is that the supply is limited. In 2016, Indie Hops harvested from it’s Goschie Farms and Coleman Farms lots in the Valley about 18,000 pounds from about nine total acres. The harvest was a “baby” harvest, which means it was the first harvest after the establishment year. In 2017, we’ll be harvesting the first mature crop.
And we’re jazzed. Reports from the farms are glowing. Strata is growing like a weed, which makes sense botanically if not herbally. All of which means we should see a substantial bump in the yields above the stunning average of around 2,000 pounds an acre last season.
Until the 2017 harvest in September, Worthy will be offering Strata IPA as a draft only treat. If you can’t find Strata IPA on tap, ask your bartender to contact us, or click here for a list of where it’s currently pouring.
In September, we’ll put Strata IPA in a 22 ounce bottle. Check out the label above. What do you think? A cross between Jimi Hendrix’s electric day glow and the hand drawn musings of counter culture icon Robert Crumb? We love the purple haze pop and the concert lights glow and the phantasmagoric layering.
After we big bottle Strata IPA, then what? Are we going to can it? We’ll have to wait and see. Indie Hops this spring planted another 60 acres in the Willamette Valley so the future certainly looks bright for all concerned – the farmers, the brewers, the insatiable ‘give me the latest greatest” hop heads and your basic beer lovers.
Let us know what you think about Strata IPA. Strata is a pioneering hop – it’s the first new hop to emerge from the OSU-Indie Hops breeding program, and it’s the first independently owned hop ever designed, tested and grown in Oregon. Want to support Oregon hop research, Oregon hop farmers, and Oregon real craft breweries? Drink Worthy!
Watching the weeds grow.
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 18:55:00
It pays to be prudent, if not skeptical. Is this beer really that good? Does the new hop really make a difference? Will beer lovers really love it?
Worthy has been working closely with our friends at Oregon State University and Indie Hops on pilot brewing with their new hop, X-331, which IH is naming “Strata.” This is the new open-pollinated Perle with the tropical, terpiffic, multi-layered flavor profile that’s been generating a bit of buzz recently.
So, is it any good? The judges for the 2017 Oregon Beer Awards recently thought so, awarding Worthy’s StrataSphere IPA a gold medal in the Sessionable Hoppy IPA category.
That’s great, and we are grateful. Our brewers enjoyed brewing with this strange hop. It’s high oil content, dual purpose bittering level (12% alpha) and tropical aroma with a whiff of earthy dankness presented many toys to play with.
“The level of tropical fruit aroma this hop throws off was not evident during the onsite sensory evaluation, where a lot more of the dankness and spicyness powered through. The brewing trials provided a whole different experience — in the kettle and tanks, the hop’s tropical flavors just gushed out.”
“Kudos to Indie Hops and OSU for taking this strange hop beyond the rub. Without the hop teas and pilot brews, we never would have guessed it’s great potential. Thanks for allowing us brewers an opportunity to fully experience these experimental hop varieties in real-world scenarios.”
OK, great: the brewers are bedazzled by this “ugly duckling” hop, the farmers like it because it offers high yields, the scientists like it because of it’s robust disease resistance, and at least one panel of beer judges like it. But what about the consumers?
Well, we have some data. At Worthy, we’ve been offering Strata on tap for the past few months. We haven’t been promoting it actively. Without any “lobbying,” we’ve been watching how our customers vote with their dollars.
The results have been impressive. It’s no secret that the flagship at Worthy has been our famously balanced Worthy IPA. Depending on the weather and day of the week, our PreFunk Pale, Kama Citrus IPA, Easy Day Kolsch and Lights Out Stout have traditionally rounded out our top sellers in our pub.
Generally, in Bend if not elsewhere, any beer with “IPA” in the name will perform well. Discounting that, and the newness factor, the results are bankable. For the past two months at Worthy’s restaurant on the East Side, Strata IPA has run neck and neck with Worthy IPA, and in some weeks, Strata has pulled away from the pack convincingly.
The Future looks Bright
Are these fans simply new customers who wanted the newest thing? Not really. We’re learning that most are repeat customers who’ve ordered Strata before and simply fell in love with it. The most frequently asked questions we get are: “Do you package this” and “Where else can I find this?”
Encouraging questions. The answers: No, it’s not packaged now, only because the hop is an experimental hop that’s in short supply. After the 2017 harvest, we do intend to package Strata, most likely in a 22 ounce bottle. After that, we shall see.
In the meantime, we have enough hop material to continue to offer Strata IPA on draft throughout Oregon and Washington. Please check it out and let us know what you think.
Strata is available at these on premise locations. In view of the strong demand, IH has put in another 60 acres. They won’t harvest a mature crop on those new acres until next year. In the meantime, IH will be scoring a mature crop on their original ten acres, which are split evenly between Goschie Farms and Coleman Farms in the Willamette Valley.
This is getting more and more fun. Stay tuned.
Deemed Worthy. Strata recently struck gold at the Oregon Beer Awards in the Hoppy Sessionable IPA category.
OSU breeds new hops for craft brewers.
Oregon State University. 2017
On the rub, x-331 entered the dank-to-skunk zone. How did Indie Hops know it had potential?
Perle, our German Fair Hop Maiden. Who’s the daddy? He’s got to be a rogue Oregon Hop Stud.
Jim Solberg at Indie Hops brewing “hop teas” with experimental varieties. Turns out this “ugly duckling” hop when brewed becomes a glorious multi-colored swan.
Zach Brenneman at Worthy feeding the Heart & Soul Pilot Brew system with freshly pelleted Strata. The hop is loaded with terpenes that give off that earthy, resinous, terpelicious, hopijuana stank.
Mon, 06 Mar 2017 18:55:00
Why does the new hop, Strata (aka, X-331) smell like pot? Virtually every brewer I’ve met who’s rubbed and sniffed it uses words like dank, stanky, skunky, musky or resinous to describe it, usually with a bemused grin.
The short answer is that pot and hops share many of the same essential oils, or terpenoids, from which the aroma (and flavor) springs. That’s hardly big news. Everybody in Oregon knows hops (aka, Humulus lupulus, the twining herb) and pot (aka, cannabis, the erect herb) are two genera within the same Cannabacae family.
But what are these shared essential oils? What are these pleasantly malodorous terpenoids? The answer to that is more complicated, so we’ll have to resort to educated guesses sprinkled with a few factoids.
First, what do we know? We know that Strata was born in Corvallis, where the air is thick with ancient, rich and hearty pollens, spores, molds, dusts and danders. Strata’s Momma is Perle, a German born hop. We don’t know who the Daddy is, because Perle was pollinated naturally. He just swooped down from the sky like a hawk. I suspect the Daddy is a Rogue Oregon hop stud, as the competition to procreate in the Valley is fierce. Lots of up and coming hop pollens competing with the native wild types. Only the strongest survive.
We chose to advance X-331 from the OSU research plots to the commercial farm plots because she was vigorous, highly disease resistant, and powerfully pungent (strong odors can repel insects, a few mammals, and thwart certain fungi). When we did the rub and sniff on X-331’s big oily cones, my partner Jim and I were transported back in time.
The aroma took us back to those carefree, long days of Summer when we explored the woods around Corvallis in search of fruit, frogs and arrowheads. We remembered this omnipresent tobacco-ish fragrance, which to a 12 year old kid was irresistible.
It just had to be dried, mashed up and tamped down in a pipe. I’m speaking for myself here (Jim’s Dad was a Coach, mine was a biology student). We later found out that that weedy aroma came from Indian Tobacco, which for the natives was used to cure anything from a sore lower back to demonic possession.
So, back to the story, we know that in general a hop has over 500 essential oils and about 85% of those oils are comprised of myrcene, humulene, and caryophyllene. Cannabis at least 200 known terpenes. The principal terpenes that are responsible for that distinctive skunky– funk include myrcene, caryophyllene, pinene, limonene, and linalool.
Below is a chart that in very summary fashion attributes odors/aromas to specific essential Oils (Chart 1). You’ll notice that these oils, which are prominent in pot, favor the “woody,” “piney”, “earthy” and “herbal” spokes of the aroma wheel. Granted, we’re entering the inexact science zone, as aromas can vary as widely as the colors of a rose.
Chart 1. Essential Oils and Related Odors/Aromas Common to Pot and Hops
caryophyllene » woody, earthy, woody
What do we know about the terpenes in X-331? Not surprisingly, we haven’t done any direct comparisons between X-331 and a pot varietal. We have done basic chemistry on X-331, mainly to compare it against it’s mother, Perle, and the aroma workhorse, Cascade. We gathered essential oil data on X-331 at two different Willamette Valley farms in the same year, as well as Perle and Cascade for benchmarks, also the same year and terroir. We only evaluated 24 oils (again, out of well over 300 – it’s expensive!).
In the quest to discover the source of that terpy stench (said lovingly) in both pot and X-331, I looked mainly at the oils that are common to X-331 and cannabis (generically). As you can see from Chart 2, Strata had a substantially greater expression of many of the terpy oils than it’s noble Mother Perle. The same goes for Strata when you stack her up against Cascade, which is regarded as the Grand Daddy of American born aroma hops.
It’s evident from the research that Strata’s Rogue Hop Daddy had some seriously stanky juice.
Chart 2. X-331 Key Oil % Content Compared to Perle and Cascade
2.1. X-331 vs. Perle*
Myrcene ~2.5 x greater
2.2 Comparing X-331 with Cascade*
A-Humulene 2.4 x greater
(*I took the highest reading from Farm A and Farm B for X-331 and divided by the number for Perle and Cascade, respectively. Warning: my math may not be that good!).
You have to wonder who that Rogue Oregon Hop Stud is. Where did he come from? How long has he been tomcatting around? Of all the pollens swirling above the Valley, why did nature select him? What does he impart that gives his offspring a survival edge? Does he have cannabis in his family tree? If so, how long ago did he branch out?
We’ll never know, which gives us license to fantasize about his reproductive prowess and evolutionary fitness. One thing for sure, unlike bad pests, he wasn’t easily repelled.
So we may have a clue as to the source of the dankness in Strata. But, now the really important question. Is our nation ready to accept a hop that must truthfully be described on the rub as “dank?” We have little doubt our friends in Colorado and here on the West Coast will regard the descriptor as a high praise. And concert-goers everywhere should appreciate the association (it’s not rock n roll if the arena doesn’t light up when the lights go down). As the laws catch up with culture, dankness is certainly becoming more acceptable (embrace the stank!).
And yet, let’s face it – nose-wincing words like dank, skunky, stanky, cat piss, and “good sh**” may work well for selling pot. Softer words like weed, ganja, green, grass have decent potential for cross-over descriptors.
But I’m thinking we need a new vocabulary that’s both accurate and honorific. Both weeds share resins rich with terpenoids. The word terpenoid has a clinical, medicinal and scientific connotation. Terpenoids are figuratively the sh** house door on the cat house. All stench starts there. The root – “terp” – is the building block for all sorts of fun. It’s a word, in my view, that can help build a bridge between pot and hops.
And so, let me offer, for your consideration, a number of pot-inspired neologisms to characterize Strata, the stanky new hop darling of the Willamette Valley. Terpilicious. Terpendous. Terpiffic. Terpiluscious. Terpasmic.
All this term talk has made me thirsty. I need a Strata Sphere IPA.
Strata Sphere IPA recently won a gold medal in the Hoppy Session Ale category at the Oregon Beer Awards. Needless to say, the beer tastes far better than it’s biggest spice smells.
A snootful of nose-worthy hop stank.
Most of the common terpenes in pot and hops also appear in thousands of fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs.
Tue, 24 Jan 2017 18:55:00
Worthy Brewing has launched StrataSphere IPA, a fruity India Pale Ale, which utilizes the new hop Strata, in kegs for distribution across four states, as well as in Worthy’s pub.
Strata, formerly known as X-331, has been an ongoing collaboration between Indie Hops and Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Strata is an open-pollinated Perle that expresses many of the oils associated with mango, oranges, and other fruits and herbs.
Roger Worthington, the founder of Worthy Brewing, is also the co-founder of Indie Hops along with his childhood friend, Jim Solberg. They partnered up in 2009 and rebooted Oregon State University’s hop-breeding program with a $1 million donation. Under the leadership of Shaun Townsend, Ph.D, they have developped over 50 new aroma-centric genotypes that thrive in the Willamette Valley terroir.
Strata is the first hop creation to emerge from the OSU-IH aroma hop breeding program. It has superior disease resistance, the promise of substantial yields, and boasts a tropical and herbal flavor profile along with a dual purpose alpha acid level that render Strata a potential stand-alone, one-stop hop.
“I felt like a proud daddy whose baby girl just won the state title in the 100-meter dash, shot put and mile,” said Roger Worthington. “With the hop breeding program, we didn’t want to bring sand to the beach. Our goal was to generate aroma hops tailored to the Willamette Valley —with a unique aroma, high yields and high tolerance to viruses. This was all part of our utopian vision to revive hop farming in Oregon and bring worthy flavors to the craft market. ”
Worthy Brew Master Dustin Kellner was one of the first to experiment with Strata:
“It was an honor to fiddle around and experiment with this hop,” Kellner said. “The aroma Strata gives off and the finish product blew our mind and all expectations. It’s a staff favorite and received rave reviews in our pub.”
After assisting in the selection of the hop, Kellner and his team brewed four (4) pilot brews in the pursuit of a more perfect IPA. They came up with StrataSphere , an IPA with a tantalizing array of layers. Sensory panelists describe StrataSphere’s hop character as tropical, candied fruit and a light herbal dankness.
“From terra firma — pineapple, watermelon and a whiff of herbal dankness. From the jungle canopy — passion fruit, and mango. On the outer rim — detections of peaches, cotton candy, and juicy fruit gum,” Worthington says about his brewery’s most multi-layered beer.
This new addition to the Worthy line-up is already winning awards too. Best of Craft Beer awarded StrataSphere IPA a silver medal for Australian-Style Pale Ale in January 2017.
StrataSphere IPA will be in draft only with intentions to go into package in the future. Kegs are distributed by Columbia Distribution in Oregon and Washington, Hodgen Distributing in Eastern Oregon, and by Hayden Beverage in Idaho through January.
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