Beer Church Pale Ale promotes food security in our community using innovative hop products
Our core mission was to support organizations that promote food security in our community. Our plan of action was to brew a beer to raise funds for those organizations. We set out to brew a beer that was unapologetically hop-forward — a beer brewed using new and innovative hop products and ingredients. To accomplish this, we turned to the good folks at Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) and Omega Yeast. Their generous donations brought the whole thing together. (Here’s what went into the beer.)
The beer was brewed at Future Primitive Brewing in collaboration with members of the West Side Beer Trail, including representatives from Good Society Brewery, West Seattle Brewing, Logan Brewing, and Elliott Bay Brewing. Representing Beer Church, I conceptualized the beer and participated in its brewing.
We’ll release Beer Church Pale Ale on Saturday, November 12th with a release party at West Seattle Bowl. The release event is part of Beer Church Turkey Bowl, an annual fundraiser for the West Seattle Food Bank that involves members of the local beer and brewing industry. The public is welcome to attend Turkey Bowl, enjoy the beer, and participate in the raffle and silent auction. Currently, we do not have room for more bowlers, but Turkey Bowl is fun even if you’re not bowling.
Thereafter, you’ll find Beer Church Pale Ale on tap at locations along the West Side Beer Trail: Best of Hands Brewing, Elliott Bay Brewing, Future Primitive Brewing, Good Society Brewery, Logan Brewing, and West Seattle Brewing. Members of those breweries collaborated to create Beer Church Pale Ale. It may find its way to some other locations if supplies allow.
What Went Into The Beer?
Here’s what I can tell you about the beer. Don’t let the jargon overwhelm you.
Yakima Chief Hops (YCH) provided all of the hops. The mash included 22 pounds of Cascade hops, to maximize thiol precursors (more on that later). The hop bill also included very generous late additions, and dry-hop additions, of two hop products: Citra® YCH 301 Trial, and YCH 602 Trial. The first product, YCH 301 Trial, combines the concept of Frozen Fresh Hops and the innovative technology of Cryo Hops® to pioneer a new way to brew fresh hop ales with a pelletized product. The second one, YCH 602 Trial, is a new, experimental Cryo Hops® blend designed to target tropical aromas and flavors.
That’s not all. To ferment this beer, we used a patent-pending product called OYL 404 Star Party™, a special kind of yeast from Omega Yeast’s Thiolized™ series. It is a thiolized version of the beloved Chico strain (West Coast ale yeast). Star Party provides the same kind of clean fermentation profile and clarity as Chico, but also creates a burst of thiols that redefines classic styles and juices things up.
Allow me to explain some of that jargon in simple terms.
Cryo Hops® is YCH’s cryogenic hop-processing technology that separates whole cone hops into two components—concentrated lupulin (aromatic, flavorful stuff in the hops) and bract (the vegetal matter in the hops). Cryo Hops is just the concentrated lupulins and aromatic oils. The product is designed to provide intense hop flavor and aroma. It allows brewers to use a lot of hops without worrying about astringent or vegetal flavors.
Frozen Fresh Hops is a product that YCH introduced to help brewers achieve the tasty goodness that we all love about fresh hop beers, without finding themselves confined to brewing such beers only during the hop harvest season. YCH’s Frozen Fresh Hops are raw, un-kilned hops that are flash-frozen to protect the lupulin glands and preserve the aromatic qualities we all love about fresh hops. Frozen Fresh Hops are designed to provide the same kind of flavor and aroma character, offering brewers everything but the romantic allure of rushing back from the hop fields with a van full of freshly picked hops.
Omega Yeast developed its patent-pending Thiolized process to enhance a yeast’s ability to biotransform compounds found in malt and hops to unleash thiols. So what are thiols? It’s nerdy stuff but suffice it to say that thiols are aroma compounds that evoke fruity, tropical character and are found in a variety of tropical fruits, wine grapes, hops, and even barley. Thiols exist in both free form and precursor form. Some hop varietals, but not all, are high in free thiols, which accounts for their fruity tropical characteristics. Other hops contain thiols in their precursor form, which means they need a little help to unleash their full aromatic potential.
Turns out, typical yeast is not very good at transforming thiol precursors into recognizable thiols, so Omega Yeast developed its Thiolized strains to increase thiol output. In short, the yeast is designed to bring out more flavorful goodness in the beer – flavorful goodness that would otherwise go unrealized.
If you don’t fully understand all the science behind things like Cryo Hops and Thiolized yeast, don’t feel bad. There are a lot of great brewers in the world who don’t understand it much better than you, but they trust the science and so should you. Just drink the beer knowing that there was a lot of research and development behind the ingredients we used from Yakima Chief Hops and Omega Yeast.
The beer goes on tap at West Seattle Bowl and along the West Side Beer Trail starting on Saturday, November 12th. Drink it knowing that proceeds from the beer help support the area’s food banks.