Calling all “Fussy” Craft Beer Lovers – lend us your snouts, tongues and brains.
We’re tapping a new beer today from our Heart & Soul pilot brew series that utilizes an experimental hop – X-331- from the OSU-Indie Hops aroma hop breeding program.
We’re calling the beer “Fussy X-331 Pale.” We used Nugget for bittering and IH-OSU X-331 for aroma. As with all of our pilot beers, it’s unfiltered.
Normally we’d gladly tell you all about the hop’s aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. But that might prejudice you. What we’re doing here is scientific. We want your honest sensory evaluation.
We’d like you to come in blind with no preconceived notions and do what the Industrial Beer Flavored Water Brutes either mock or detest – we want you to get fussy!
We can tell you that Indie Hops and OSU have been evaluating this hop since 2009. It’s performed well in farm trials for yield and disease resistance. In terms of parentage, we don’t mind telling you the Mother originates from Germany but this frauline was “open pollinated,” which means her mating partner (the fertilizing father) will remain forever unknown. Fortunately, the Willamette Valley in and around Corvallis is teeming with strong Hop Daddies so we’re sure he’s good breeding stock.
Take a snort and a sip and tell us what you think. All opinions, good or bad, accepted with open arms.
Remember, trained sensory “experts” in blind taste tests have been all over the board even with proven hop heroes. For example, in 2010, when Citra was being pilot tested among a panel of Oregon brewers, the majority of the judges rated the experimental hop as “catty.” A few thought it was “sweaty.” Today, it’s one of the most sought after aroma hops in the world.
Thanks in advance for participating in this fuss-friendly project. We’re going to be doing this a lot at Worthy in the coming years. Indie Hops and OSU have a steady stream of new hop flowers in their pipeline that we’re privileged to be able to fuss over. Let’s see what happens and have fun in the process.
Here is the scorecard which we will provide. Results will be sent to OSU and IH. We appreciate your support.
The craft beer scene in Boise is hopping. Michelle and I loaded up the wagon and headed East to check it out. Naturally, the Walter Mitty in me imagined what a few of Boise's landmarks might look like with a Worthy touch up.
We rented cruisers from Idaho Mountain Touring, which is a great place with a friendly staff. We rolled over to the beloved Boise River Greenbelt, a smart, smooth and gentle path through lush riparian habitats, and headed upriver. First stop was Bronco Stadium, with the iconic blue turf. The curtains match the carpet, no?
We crossed over the swift Boise River on a foot bridge near a golf course and it seemed appropriate to break out a can of the Easy Day Kolsch. Cruising on a fat tire bike with a big soft seat and a wire basket, checking out the sights, enjoying the sunshine, with no particular destination and no clocks -- this is what we invented Easy Day for.
We came upon a garden of bright pink and orange tulips and they just sort of reached out for us.
I'd never been to Idaho before. My impression going in was that Idaho was another word for "potato." I expected to see shiny bronze monuments glorifying the almighty tubers. After all, Idaho is the leading producer of spuds (in front of Washington and Wisconsin). But the locals shrugged off the association, educating me that Idaho was instead "the gem state." I learned that pioneers flocked to Boise and parts surrounding in the 1860's because of the discovery of gold. Not finding any spud statues, we pedaled over to the local co-op to lay hands upon a bushel of home grown Yukon Golds. No, our IPA isn't made with potatoes.
We stopped by the State Capital and found the obligatory Civil War vintage cast iron cannon. Not sure the last time this big fella erupted in fury. We learned it was a "sea coast cannon" used by the Confederacy in the Civil War. Idaho didn't join the Union until 1890.
In 1906, a bunch of motivated Boise schoolchildren cobbled the funds to build the "Pioneer Monument," which depicts a Nez Perce Indian counseling an apparently lost Lewis and Clark on how to get back on The Oregon Trail. No, they probably were not asking for directions to "Beertopia."
Boise's vibrant downtown pub and restaurant scene lived up to its reputation. I'm sort of a fan of the back alleys, where a spray can and an independent spirit can sometimes unite with brilliant results. We found "Freak Alley," a dumpster strewn corridor in which local artists are encouraged to let their "Freak Flag fly." Even without a black light, the colorful murals at dusk cast a three dimensional glow that opens the mind's eye.
No, alas, we found no potato pedestals, but we did find an interesting tribute to those brave and adventurous souls who came to Idaho 150 years ago to pan for gold. Today, the locals seem more interested in prospecting for the latest golden IPA.
After a fabulous day touring the University, the Greenbelt, the Capital grounds, and the Anne Frank Memorial (my favorite motto: "Idaho is Too Great for Hate"), we settled in for dinner at The Fork. We were absolutely dazzled by the asparagus fries, the roasted beets on a bed of warm Golden Greek cheese, the pan seared Idaho trout and the ale-braised short ribs. Scrumptuous! As an added treat, Shaun, the bar tender and our gracious server, poured us a can of Worthy Pale Ale from his superbly stocked cooler.
We had a wonderful trip, the locals were super friendly and we can't wait to return.