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13th Nov 2017 | Beer Hawk Discoveries

Beer Hawk Discoveries: What is dry hopping?

Another one of these flashy buzzwords that we hear all the time is "dry-hopping". It's a pretty delicious thing to do to a beer so hop on over with Beer Hawk (groan) and discover your new favourite dry-hopped beer.

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SavWhat is dry hopping?

There's a chance a new dance craze could be called the "dry hop". But before it goes the way of twerking let's talk about what it really means. As we all know, hops are one of the four main ingredients in beer and the bit that's responsible for imparting certain flavours and bitterness. Hops are typically added during the brewing process and boiled for a specified amount of time. Dry hopping, on the other hand, occurs when the brewer adds hops to the secondary fermenter in addition to the hops in the boil. The beer has gone all the way through the brewing and fermentation process. Usually--and we mean usually--a brewer who wants to dry hop will put the beer into what's called secondary fermentation (or another go at fermentation) and add more hops there. That's right, he or she just chucks it right in there.

What do dry-hopped beers taste like?

On top of the hops that were in the boil, adding a layer of dry-hopping adds another layer of flavour to the beer. While the boiled hops do the work of adding bitterness as well as flavour, it's the dry-hopping that let's us really see the true flavour of a hop. Since this load of hops is added during fermentation, missing out on the boil means these hops won't give a beer any more bitterness. Rather, it's here where the big floral, citrus, pine, you-name-it aromas come from. Since it's big hops we're looking at here, styles like pale ales or IPAs tend to see most of the dry-hopping but, hey, this is beer--you'll see many styles dry-hopped. Make sense?

Dry-hopped beers you'll love

Since a dry-hopped beer tastes like angel tears, you should get trying them yourself! Here are our favourite dry-hopped beers:

Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion Series

 

This beer series by Firestone Walker is all about the hops. Chocked full of about eleventy-billion different hop varieties, you better believe a lot of this IPA's hop character comes from dry-hopping.

 

 

Orval

 

 

Proof that it isn't reserved for just hop-bombs, Orval's unique Trappist ale undergoes dry-hopping during secondary fermentation. Drink this young and the pronounced hoppy aroma really comes through.

 

 

 

Anchor Old Foghorn

 

 

This deep, rich American-style barleywine takes on another dimension thanks to dry-hopping. The result is a perfect blend of malty sweetness and hop character. It's one of our favourites.

 

 

 

Prairie Funky Gold Simcoe


 

Drink. This. Beer. Now. Seriously, do it now. This dry-hopped sour ale is juicy and zesty with tropical fruit notes alongside a easy-drinking tartness. Belgium: you've got competition.

 

 

 

Schneider Hopfenweisse Tap 5

 

 

This collaboration between Munich's Schneider Weisse brewery and Brooklyn brewery gives us this classic German wheat beer with an American twist! Dry-hopping gives a zingy hoppy character alongside  distinctive banana and clove notes.

 

 

Fruity, floral-y, juicy, zingy. What are you waiting for? Hop to it!

Sorry. We hate ourselves for that one.

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