John G. Jibber-Jabs on Aroma

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Industry treasure & Drake’s Head Brewer John Gillooly has a lot of opinions. He will also share them at will (trust us). So, we’ve decided to share his opinions with you nice blog readers. This month, he explains some new processes for enhancing the hop aroma of Aroma Coma:

Coma season is upon us. As always, with Aroma Coma, we assemble the best hops we own to showcase. For this year’s iteration, we took a particularly pungent crop of old-school Centennial hops, and combined them with a whole bunch of Citras, and then spiced it up with a combination of new school El Dorado hops, and Amarillos, for a dank and citric hit of hop aroma that should ultimately paralyze your nose into a comatic (yes, spell check, I know that’s not a word, but I say it is) stupor. We are also experimenting with an improvised hop cannon in one of our smaller fermentation tanks to circulate the beer on the dry hops more thoroughly and make sure we get every drop of aromatic goodness out of the lovely humulus lupulus.

IMG950306 (1)Normally we release Aroma Coma with its sister beer, Aroma Prieta, which is made with hops from New Zealand. However, the NZ hop harvest is pushing that release back to August. We don’t want Aroma Coma to be lonely, though, so we have instead created Aroma Flora – a Saison we are brewing with hops and edible flowers. We haven’t done this before, but our vision is to combine floral aromatics from Elderflowers, Saffron, Rose Hips, Chamomile, Calandula, Lavender… and of course hops (it’s a flower!) – specifically German Saphir. Flowers will be added both to the hop back and as a dry “hop.” For yeast, we are borrowing a pitch from our friends at HenHouse Brewing, and the malts will be a simple combination of Pilsner and Rye. It’s an experiment, but we’ve been doing some tests and with think it will be uniquely delightful.