With Hopocalypse Day approaching, our cellars are rapidly filling up with a variety of different strong IPAs. Our cellar department is full-time executing massive multi-stage dry-hops (and our accounting department is shaking their heads at the crazy hop bills). Our highlights for this year’s Hopocalypse Day start with our usual suspects – Hopocalypse Green Label DIPA and Hopocalypse Black TIPA (EDIT: Black Label delayed). As we do every year, we took an inventory of our hops for these beers and made some tweaks based on what we thought was showing really well – one of the fun things about Hopocalypse for us as brewers is that it happens right as 2016 hop harvest starts shipping, so it’s our first time actually brewing with those hops.
For Green Label, the hop we’re most honestly stoked on is Simcoe. Yeah, we use Simcoe all over but this year’s crop is from a farm that only recently started using Simcoe and they are particularly vibrant. We paired them up with Mosaic and El Dorado to round out a tropical feel, then grounded the whole brew with classic West Coast Cascade and Chinook. Black Label is always an experiment in excess; those same Simcoes are again featured, but we dressed them up with a lot of fun stuff: Amarillo (a frequent Simcoe running mate), Pekko (a new dwarf hop variety that we debuted last year in War Pigeon, a rather pungent hop with a nicely citric kick), Idaho 7 (also debuted in last year’s War Pigeon and rapidly becoming a house favorite for its resiny pine notes and dank tropicality), plus El Dorado (more bright tropical aromatics), with a bit of Cascade sprinkled in for classic West Coast aromatics.
We will also be pouring some other Hopocalypse beers – last year’s Blood Orange infused Red Label DIPA returns (also be seen in bottles in April) and a new, hazier version of last year’s White Label. Red Label is always a fun recipe to build – we look for hops that show off a lot of citrus and aromatics, which gave us a bill dominated by Lemondrop, Citra and Bavaria Mandarina, with support from El Dorado. White Label is a completely different beast from last year’s wheat/rye DIPA (don’t worry – if you loved that beer, it has been tweaked a touch and will re-emerge in 6 packs as Hop Vice, which will be a whole post of its own sometime soon). We’ve started playing around with those hazy “New England-style” IPAs, which we are interpreting with distinctly West Coast sensibilities. Get Stupid and Go Dumb are currently the beers we brew in that range; White Label will be the third. And to double down on the haze, our new debut Post-Hopocalypse Session IPA is in that style as well.
We, of course, will be releasing other hoppy beers for Hopocalypse Day and some fun one-offs. If you need a break from the hops and high ABVs, we will be tapping Fainting Goat Maibock, Macho Man Razzy Savage (a Brown Kettle Sour with Raspberry Purée), and a traditional English Bitter (Old Man Bitter, brewed with 100% Heirloom Chevalier malt and Bramling Cross hops). Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday!