Breakside Fresh Hop 2014 from Ritch Marvin on Vimeo.
Breakside Brewery Liquid Nitrogen Frozen Fresh Hop Beers for the brewery’s 2014 hop harvest releases—before shattering them.
Brewmaster Ben Edmunds is known for developing some great hoppy beers and IPAs, from the brewery’s flagship to the Wanderlust IPA and India Golden Ale, but he has always been frustrated with fresh hop beers.
“For me, a lot of fresh hop beers just have this really intense chlorophyll, plant matter kind of character, and often don’t showcase the varietal character of the hops—say, the dank and piney notes of Simcoe, or the tropical notes of Citra.”
Brewers are still figuring out the best methods to extract the subtle fresh flavors from un-dried, un-kilned hops that are available just once a year during the annual hop harvest.
“When you’re given these whole cones, you don’t get a chance to really access those lupulin glands where the acids and resins and oils are all stored, and it’s those things that are the signature components of hop flavor and aroma. So, we were talking about how we could come up with a technique where we could actually expose those glands, and I was talking about grinding the hops or breaking them open. It’s almost that the most gentle thing we can do is just shatter them, and in the moment of saying that I thought of liquid nitrogen.”
Breakside’s “Fresh Hop Simcoe IPA,” a fresh hopped version of the brewery’s flagship IPA, is the first of three fresh hop beers this season and is on tap at both Breakside locations now.