Worthy Brewing

Terpiffic

By in Strata IPA, Terpiffic, X-331 0

2017 Hop Crop Report: Strata is Strong!

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.

Enjoy!

RGW
9/5/17

 

 

 

 

By in Strata IPA, Terpiffic, X-331 0

Strata IPA On The Rise

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.

Gold Medal

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.

”What really surprised and impressed all of us about this hop was how different it performed in a real brewing scenario compared to the rub and sniff method used during harvest,” said Dustin Kellner, Worthy’s Master Brewer.

“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.”

Do People Drink it?

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.

BGL
4/25/17

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.
By in Strata IPA, Terpiffic, X-331 0

Strata: Terpilicious, Terpiffic and Terpendous

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.

Did we advance X-331 because we had notions of breeding a sort of “hopijuana.” Not exactly.  Mostly, the brewers — a rebellious lot — who sniffed it gave it the thumbs up.  We deferred to them. Which raises a whole new set of questions – namely, how can a hop’s aroma and flavor be so radically different? (We’ll leave that thorny question for another time). At the time we were doing our hop selection, we didn’t know with any certainty that when brewed, the flavor profile would center more on it’s fruity, citrusy character (how the brewers lept to this conclusion remains a mystery to me).

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
citronellol                     » citrusy, fruity, herbal *
humulene                     » woody, piney, earthy, tobacco
limonene                      » citrusy, orange, piney
linalool                         » floral, orange, woody *
myrcene                      » musky, green, resinous, piney, peppery
B-pinene                      » spicy, piney, woody, green
M-Heptanoate              » fruity, green, peppery, floral
Terpenoil                  » lime, coriander, marjoram
(*used as an insect repellant)

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
Trans-Caryophylene       ~3 x greater
Linalool                         ~2 x greater
B-pinene                       ~3 x greater
Limonene                      ~2.5 x greater
M-Heptonoate                ~2.5 x greater

2.2 Comparing X-331 with Cascade*

A-Humulene                  2.4 x greater
Linalool                         2 x greater
Trans-Caryophyllene      5 x greater
Terpeniol                   2.7 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.

BGL
​3/6/17

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.