Strata, formerly known as X-331, has been an ongoing collaboration between Indie Hops and Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. Strata is an open-pollinated Perle that expresses many of the oils associated with mango, oranges, and other fruits and herbs.
Roger Worthington, the founder of Worthy Brewing, is also the co-founder of Indie Hops along with his childhood friend, Jim Solberg. They partnered up in 2009 and rebooted Oregon State University’s hop-breeding program with a $1 million donation. Under the leadership of Shaun Townsend, Ph.D, they have developped over 50 new aroma-centric genotypes that thrive in the Willamette Valley terroir.
Strata is the first hop creation to emerge from the OSU-IH aroma hop breeding program. It has superior disease resistance, the promise of substantial yields, and boasts a tropical and herbal flavor profile along with a dual purpose alpha acid level that render Strata a potential stand-alone, one-stop hop.
“I felt like a proud daddy whose baby girl just won the state title in the 100-meter dash, shot put and mile,” said Roger Worthington. “With the hop breeding program, we didn’t want to bring sand to the beach. Our goal was to generate aroma hops tailored to the Willamette Valley —with a unique aroma, high yields and high tolerance to viruses. This was all part of our utopian vision to revive hop farming in Oregon and bring worthy flavors to the craft market. ”
Worthy Brew Master Dustin Kellner was one of the first to experiment with Strata:
"It was an honor to fiddle around and experiment with this hop,” Kellner said. “The aroma Strata gives off and the finish product blew our mind and all expectations. It's a staff favorite and received rave reviews in our pub."
After assisting in the selection of the hop, Kellner and his team brewed four (4) pilot brews in the pursuit of a more perfect IPA. They came up with StrataSphere , an IPA with a tantalizing array of layers. Sensory panelists describe StrataSphere’s hop character as tropical, candied fruit and a light herbal dankness.
“From terra firma -- pineapple, watermelon and a whiff of herbal dankness. From the jungle canopy -- passion fruit, and mango. On the outer rim -- detections of peaches, cotton candy, and juicy fruit gum,” Worthington says about his brewery’s most multi-layered beer.
This new addition to the Worthy line-up is already winning awards too. Best of Craft Beer awarded StrataSphere IPA a silver medal for Australian-Style Pale Ale in January 2017.
StrataSphere IPA will be in draft only with intentions to go into package in the future. Kegs are distributed by Columbia Distribution in Oregon and Washington, Hodgen Distributing in Eastern Oregon, and by Hayden Beverage in Idaho through January.