Applauding Innovation: Hop Project

This brew is an India Pale Ale by style, but that is where the similarity to most IPAs ends. Each consecutive batch of Hop Project is brewed with a different blend of spicy, aromatic hops, never using the same blend twice. It’s a Hophead’s dream come true! Check the bottled on date and our blog to decode what specific hop varieties we used in that batch.- From Yazoo’s web site.

Written by Ken Carman

When I asked the Professor about the possibility that all writers here might be able to offer some occasional “applause” for innovation, he readily agreed.

Well, “readily” after I begged, pleaded, did all kinds of unmentionable things for him.

I’m joking. But we are hoping that Scribe, Tom Becham and other writers occasionally featured here will help. Feel free to offer your own “applause.” Perhaps even a boo or a hiss? Hmm… perhaps another new feature here at PGA?

Let’s start with Yazoos Hop project…

I know of no other brewery who does this. Every craft brewer of any worth now has at least one IPA. Or IIPA, smoked IPA, Cascadian/Dark IPA and various spins off of that motif. I applaud the attention hop lovers have been given. But Yazoo Brewing in Nashville has something quite unique in their Hop Project. Every few weeks they take a basic wort and vary the hops: both in the type of hop and how one adds the hops… fresh hops, odd hops from all over the world, and, one hopes, smoked and other variations on hops in the future.

Here is my opinion: this is what brewing is all about.

I hope someone takes the initiative and does this with malt, yeast, water and odd additions too. It’s beer education for the masses, and for the brewer. And it furthers the craft of brewing. You never know what you might discover.

My wife, Millie and I, have been in on tasting all permutations: done in sequence: #1, #2, #3… since single digit Hop Projects, 1-10. We’ve probably had at least one or two per ten, or more, depending on where life takes us during the time from release to draining both the serving tanks and the bottled product.

Right now we are sipping on what I think is #41: “a lot of Warrior, Columbus, and Galena, with all Warrior for dry hopping.” The wort is golden, as usual. plenty of head that lasts, a bit of a citrus nose: lemony, sharp hop to the taste; yet not over powering the malt. A pleasant malt, bitter hop, mouthful. Just a bit sharp carbonation to that “mouthful.” All in all yet another complete, distinct, hop offering from Yazoo.

For years: the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and early 70s, beer was about almost no hops, lager yeast, little malt and more hype than any conman could stand. Linus Hall is one of the brewers and visionaries that has taken brewing to another plateau.

Kudos.