Worthy Brewing


A Bright Idea to Darken the Night Sky

Mon, 08 May 2017 18:55:00

String lights over a beer garden are iconic. They foster a festive mood that leads to all sorts of laughter, sharing, and merriment. Unfortunately, they also illuminate the night sky, contributing to light pollution.

Is it possible to keep the party vibe alive without lighting up the night sky? The answer of course is “yes.”

The question is not simply academic around Beertopia these days. Now that the Worthy Garden Club is offering cosmic tours from the Hopservatory, it’s important that we help reduce our own contribution to light pollution.

More importantly, as the we launch a new mission to encourage our neighbors to turn down the lights, we have to set an example and “practice what we preach.”

So here’s one of the steps we have taken at Worthy to darken the night.

There’s an old saying: “Recycle Good. Re-use Better.”  Breweries generate a lot of “waste” aluminum cans, whether from factory blemishes, denting, or product packaging testing.

Instead of recycling those cans, which we do, we thought: why not repurpose a part of those cans by converting them into shields or mini-umbrellas that we can put on top of each string bulb?

Solve two problems at once. Repurpose and focus the beams of light where they belong – on the Earthlings partying happily below on good ol Terra Firma. And there’s a bonus benefit – perhaps our Worthy guests will look up, see the beer can shields, and have a conversation about light pollution.

So here’s what we did. We collected our “Blems.” We drilled a hole in the bottom of the can.

We marked, measured and cut the cans to spec.

Then we unscrewed each bulb – over 200 of them — and put the “custom retrofitted” Worthy beer can shields over the bulb, and screwed them back in.


A Worthy beer garden that lights up the party action without polluting the skies overhead with unnecessary and potentially harmful skyglow.

To learn more about the hazards of skyglow, and what you can do to help reduce it, please click here. Oh, and drink plenty of Lights Out Stout.


By in Stoker 0

Stoker Red On Fire

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:55:00

Worthy’s new release, Stoker Red Ale, continues to light it up. We released this hoppy red ale a few months ago in 12 ounce cans to fill the need for drinkable reds that deliver a crafty hop punch.

Based on retail and draft sales, and customer feedback, we are stoked.

At the Earth Day Brewshed Brewfest last week in Springfield, the people spoke.  They awarded Stoker Red first place in the inaugural brewfest against 17 other brews.

The Brewshed Brewfest was sponsored by the Oregon Brewshed Alliance in an effort to raise money for Oregon Wild, a non-profit working hard to keep our waters wild, fresh, pristine and brewable. It’s no secret that a key ingredient to Oregon’s craft beer success has been the availability of crystal clear, snow-melt water.

“It feels good to get the recognition, but it feels great to support a worthy cause,” said R. Worthington, the founder. “We’re big fans of fresh water. That’s why we insist that our hop suppliers comply with the standards set by another non-profit, Salmon Safe, which sets guidelines for eliminating run-off from farms into streams and tributaries.”

What was it about Stoker Red that warmed the hearts our watershed loving friends? An unofficial survey yielded an appreciation of its malty caramel sweetness, it’s piney, woody, citrusy and earthy aroma (all of the above), it’s pleasant hop bitterness, it’s bubbly mouthfeel and it’s smooth, dry finish.

As one guest said: It’s “shareworthy.”

Plus, for the record, it must be noted that it raining outside, as usual, and a red just seemed to warm the cockles.

Worthy congratulates the 17 breweries who participated in the event and salutes their efforts to keep Oregon’s rivers wild and clean.

Stoked to fill this Hearty Wooden Vessel with Worthy Stoker Red!
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.


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 Fake Craft 0

Fake Craft? Follow the Money

Sun, 09 Apr 2017 18:55:00

Does it matter to you where your “beer money” goes?

Do you care if the bottle or can of beer you’re about to buy, the label on which looks and sounds crafty, is in fact fully or partially owned by a gargantuan, multi-headed foreign conglomerate?

Do you hope and believe that by buying that “crafty” beverage you’re supporting local jobs? Local “Mom and Pops?” Local values? Local non-profits?

Do you “vote with your dollars” and try to make choices that favor the homegrown Davids against the corporate Goliaths?

Would your “vote” change if you knew that a chunk of your money was headed off shore to consortiums of faceless, nameless, hyphenated entities with ticker-tapish names a mile long?

Have you ever sat down at a bar next to a stranger who waxed on about how much he loves craft beers like Shock Top or Blue Moon? Or been to a party where honest and intelligent friends happily shared bottles of their favorite crafts like Sculpin, Joe, SuperFuzz or Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’?

Did you ever correct them, pointing out that each of those beers above were actually made by former crafties who are now wholly or partially owned subsidiaries? And the true owner is an inbred cash-thirsty giant that collects crafts like trophies, toys, or cash cows?

Did you “correct the record” to explain and educate that each of these beers, while tasty and even organically inspired, have been gobbled up by a cadre of multi-national corporate monsters?  Each now firmly lodged in the digestive tract of a Leviathan who just ate a Godzilla which had just snacked on a Goliath?

Or did you just let it go? But feel bad about it later?

In short, does truth in advertising matter to you? Would you or your friends vote differently if you knew where your money went? Would you make different choices if you knew your money went offshore? Or stayed in country but wound up enriching a consortium on the East Coast? Are you okay with being bamboozled?

The Feds don’t’ require transparency.  A Magic Hat, Goose Island or Golden Road is not required to disclose on it’s can or bottle who owns it. It’s fair to say most consumers believe once craft, always craft. We assume that when we buy a Hefe, Hop Stoopid, Dirty Bastard or Longboard Lager all the money goes to Widmer, Lagunitas, Founders or Kona, respectively. But each of these once homegrown breweries are now partially owned by an Alien Nation.

Is this fine with you?  The beer still tastes great. The vibe is still edgy or homespun. And the prices seem consistent within their category (except for Sculpin – bejeezus!!).  But what about the future? Capitalists will tell you they love competition. But we know what they truly love is the lack of competition, ie, a monopoly.

Monopoly. A malignant bloody evil that strangles innovation, fixes or jacks up prices, spawns big box blandness, perpetuates “good old boy” pay-to-play phoniness, cripples independence, feeds the beast, controls every transaction from the farm to the tap, and crushes the little guy who’s got a big heart and a great recipe but simply can’t afford to play against the jack-booted dreamcrushers in a rigged game.

If this stuff bothers you, read on. Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer, is an entrepreneur-poet who puts his money where his mouth is. He recently wrote an essay,”Is it Last Call for Craft Beer?” in the New York Times. He worries about the consolidation of breweries and distributors and so should you. Those “cute-sounding” crafties may be double agents whose silent mission is to undermine the craft movement.

Buyer beware.  Fake craft is proliferating.  The Feds who blithely rubber stamp competition-killing corporate mergers can’t be counted on to require transparency in labeling.  The Man, we know, is sneaky.  He hides behind his friendly craft copper tanks and belovedly bearded “human shields.”  He secretes himself behind a veil of “entities” whose relentless mission is not craft beer but pseudo-craft cash.

To avoid lining The Vast Heartless Entity’s deep off-shore pockets with your hard earned money, you’re going to have to arm yourself with the facts. Is that irreverent or homespun brand really craft? Is it really locally owned? Take a look here at 32 former crafts who sold out to The Corporate Beast-Man – and there’s more (see the column to the right).

I can tell you this. Worthy will NEVER EVER sell out. We’re not owned by a bank or cadre of Wall Street investors, or a foreign holding company that collects former crafties like your gutless big game hunter collects exotic mounts on a wall. We’re owned by a kid from Corvallis, the son of a U.S. Marine, boxer, Ph.D and union organizer who taught me to go hard, give back and never sell your soul.

R.G. Worthington

Our Founder’s Father: Punch Worthington, Ph.D, shown here protesting OSU’s ownership of stock in Blue Chips profiting from the Vietnam War. January 19, 1973, Corvallis Gazette Times.

“..90% of domestic beer production [is] in the hands of two foreign-owned brewing giants,” writes Jim Koch in the NYT. The result? Beer prices increased, Americans lost jobs, federal tax revenue cut and profits moved offshore.

​Foreign Owned Fake Craft
10 Barrel – AB InBev
Blue Point- AB InBev
Breckenridge – AB InBev
Boulevard – Duvel
Devils Backbone – AB InBev
Elysian – AB InBev
Firestone Walker – Duvel
Founders – 30 % Mahou-San Miguel
Four Peaks –  AB InBev
Golden Road – AB InBev
Goose Island – AB InBev
Hop Valley – MillerCoors
Kona Brewing – 32 % AB InBev
Karbach – AB InBev
Lagunitas – 50% Heineken
Leinenkugel’s –  MolsenCoors
Mad Hat – Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A.
MacTarnahan’s – Cerveceria C.R., S.A
Ommegang – Duvel
Pyramid – Cerveceria Costa Rica, S.A
Redhook – 32 % AB InBev
Revolver –  MolsenCoors
Saint Archer – MolsenCoors
Terrapin – MolsenCoors
Widmer –   32 % AB InBev*ABInBev/SAB Miller owns
​400 breweries worldwide. Like The Terminator, it will not stop.

More American Icons Who Sold Out
Shell Oil (Dutch)
Toll House Cookies (Switzerland)
Gerber Baby Food (Switzerland)
Firestone tires (Japan)
T-Mobile (German)
Holiday Inn (UK)
7-Eleven (Japan)
Trader Joe.s (German)
Church’s Fried Chicken (Bahrain)
The Plaza at Central Park (Israel)
Frigidaire (Sweden)
French’s Mustard (UK)
Ben & Jerry’s (UK-Dutch)
Good Humor (UK-Dutch)
Citgo Gas (Venezuela)
Burger King (Brazil)
Purina (Switzerland)
Lucky Strike (UK)
Pabst Blue Ribbon (Russia)
Popsicle (UK)
Starwood Hotels (China)
Smithfield Foods (China)
AMC Entertainment (China)
Motorola Mobile (China)
Alka Seltzer (Germany)

Jim Koch of Boston Beer, seen here at Goschie Farms. Koch, himself a billionaire, warns that when it comes to protecting US breweries and workers, the Feds have been making bad deals that foster monopolies and undermine healthy and diversified competition.
By in Brite Tanks 0

New shiny tanks have arrived at Worthy

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 18:55:00


​In response to an increase in demand for it’s diversified portfolio of balanced beers, Worthy Brewing has expanded it’s beer production capacity by adding three new 240 barrel fermenters and a 120 barrel brite tank. The upgrades will allow Worthy to produce 40,000 barrels annually.

In 2016, Worthy Brewing produced 15,000 barrels. Currently, Worthy is on track to brew 19,000 barrels in 2017. In addition to the four tanks, Worthy has also doubled it’s glycol capacity, beefed up it’s original 3 ton CO2 tank to 53 tons, and retrofitted it’s four vessel, 30 barrel brew system to allow one vessel to serve double duty as a wort receiver.

Finally, Worthy is in the process of adding another 70,000-pound grain silo. These upgrades are expected in increase daily production by 25%.

“With the increased capacity, we’re investing in packaging infrastructure to allow for longer production runs and a larger variety of package options, including our new Worthy IPA 24 pack which will be available in Costco this May,” said Senior Director of Sales Casey O’Brien.

With the production expansion taking place, Worthy Brewing has also hired their first full-time Quality Manager, Victoria Chaplin. Chaplin has worked at several of Oregon’s renowned breweries including Bridgeport Brewing, Craft Brew Alliance and Full Sail Brewing. She attended Oregon State University for Food Science Technology, and holds certifications in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), packaging from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and beer sensory from AROXA.

“Victoria brings a wealth of experience and a creative spirit. We’ve always been committed to quality, but with Victoria we’ll now have the expertise and tools we need to insure that our packaged beers have a long and fresh shelf-life,” said Brewmaster, Dustin Kellner. “She’ll also be helping us with sensory analysis as we continue to evaluate experimental hops from the OSU-Indie Hops breeding program. With the success of Strata, we’re excited to participate in the quest to pioneer new flavors.”

Time lapse of moving a brite tank as part of our brewery expansion … this task took about an hour!
By in Hopservatory 0

Turn Down the Lights, See the Stars

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:55:00

If you’re like me, you’ve heard of “light pollution” but you’ve never really appreciated why it’s bad or how easy it is to prevent.

It wasn’t until we installed a research grade telescope that the proverbial “lights came on” for us here at Worthy. It’s common sense that turning down the lights at night when you don’t need them saves a bundle in energy costs and thus reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide.

But light pollution, (a.k.a, “Skyglow”) also negatively impacts natural ecosystems, insects and wildlife, in particular migrating birds. Excessive “blue light” – the light emanating from energy-efficient LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), such as from your computer monitor – also exposes humans to harm.

A 2016 study by the American Medical Association (AMA) affirmed that excessive exposure to blue-rich white light at night increases the risks for cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This finding is deeply troubling because LEDs are also touted for reducing carbon pollution and fossil fuel consumption. Even presumptive “win-wins” have a hidden cost.

Light pollution glare also obliterates our ability to look up and see the stars. Most humans these days live in densely populated urban areas. It’s fair to say that most city kids growing up today have never even seen the stars with their own eyes. They think the night sky is grey like smoke. It’s difficult to assess the harm done to generations of kids who are cut off from gazing at the stars and pondering the vastness and wonder of it all.

Well, we’re not on a high horse over here. Like many of our neighbors on the East Side, when we built our “Beertopia” we didn’t pay much attention to light pollution issues. Call it blissful ignorance. We were driven to acknowledge and assess our own contribution to skyglow only because we put in a telescope which everyone knows operates better in the dark.

So we called our friends at the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver and our electrician out to do a “dark sky” audit. It turns out we were, in fact, contributing to light pollution. Now, armed with this news, we are taking remedial steps. We are replacing bulbs. We are shielding blindingly bright LED lights with red or amber glass. We are tilting lights downward. We’re eliminating unnecessary lights. We’re installing motions sensors. And we’re putting most of our exterior and parking lot lights on timers.

When you consider the benefits of all of these minor changes, the costs were meager. In fact, we will even be eligible for a rebate from The Energy Trust of Oregon for swapping out our incandescent bulbs with appropriate LED lights.

We hope by taking these small steps, Worthy will be doing our part to darken the sky so the stars can come out to play. Moreover, we’ll be doing our part to help migratory birds, insects and other wildlife, including humans. We’ll save on our energy bills without sacrificing security.

And, here’s a big one, we’ll be setting an example for the Bend’s east side. If more homes and businesses take the same steps, guests at our Hopservatory just might be lucky enough to see bits and pieces of the big, bright and beautiful Milky Way in all of its glory.

Finally, think of the dark starry night as a wilderness area. The swath of land between Bend, Reno, Boise and Spokane is one of largest remaining dark skyscapes in North America. It’s a section that, if kept dark, will allow humans to look up and see the same untainted bright and wondrous stars and orbs that inspired great thinkers like Socrates, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Halley and Van Gogh many eons ago.

March 28, 2017

To learn more about the impacts of light pollution on human health, wildlife and insects, energy consumption and our cultural heritage, please click here.

For an easy to follow list of easy to install and affordable light pollution reducing or eliminating technical solutions, please click here.


The Hopservatory likes it Dark. We are covering the bright LEDs with red glass to create a meditative glow.

Time Machine. On a dark night, light will hit your eyes through our telescope that was lunched millions of light years ago.

The above photo of the Milkyway was taken at the Oregon Observatory in Sunriver. Photo by Grant Tandy.

Using the same camera settings, this photo of the Milkyway was taken in east Bend. An obvious difference! Photo by Grant Tandy.
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 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.


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.

By in Stoker 0

Coming soon to cans … Stoker Red Ale

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:55:00


​Worthy Brewing is adding a fifth can to their  stellar line-up this spring. Introducing Stoker Red Ale, a beer designed to stoke the passions of hop and malt lovers. Stoker Red will be available in 12 ounce cans this April.

Several months ago Worthy put on hold Eruption Imperial Red, a move that left a hole in Worthy’s diverse portfolio. Brewmaster Dustin Kellner decided to fill that gap with a more sessionable red that contains many of the same ingredients.

For bittering, Kellner added Nugget and Horizon. And for aroma and flavor, he added Oregon workhorses Cascade and Centennial and topped it off with Mandarina Bavaria, a German hop whose mother is Cascade. The final numbers should come in around 6.6% ABV and 66 IBU.

“Passionate about hoppy reds?  Stoker is fuel for your firebox,” said Roger Worthington, Worthy Brewing’s Founder.  “Stoker Red Ale has a tantalizing lemon and tangerine aroma and flavor with a satisfying malt sweetness. Like Eruption, it sports the same citrusy flavor and amazing balance, without the big in your face numbers.”

The can will feature a swarthy brewer in his rubber boots stoking the kettle with a shovel piled high with big juicy hop cones. Kegs will be distributed by Columbia Distribution in Oregon and Washington, Hodgen Distributing in Eastern Oregon, and by Hayden Beverage in Idaho.

By in Strata IPA, X-331 0

Launching StrataSphere IPA

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.