#BeerRelease, #Collabs, #TheBlog

The Story of Idaho 7®

Nate and Heather Jackson grow and develop hops in Wilder, Idaho as first-generation hop growers. When working with Sierra Nevada, Jackson Hop Farm submitted a handful of hop varietals for them to analyze. The seventh one really stuck out as a promising hop varietal, bridging the tropical/citrus gap with striking notes of melon, tangerine, pineapple, and red berries. And that is how the Idaho 7 ® hop got its name.

It’s also the featured hop in Surly’s first in-person beer collaboration in well over a year. Nate, Heather, and our friends at Yakima Chief Hops traveled from the Pacific Northwest to Minneapolis in June to work on an Idaho 7®-driven IPA that we’ll be piloting in our beer hall this summer in anticipation of a future package release.

The family farms that formed the grower-owned organization, Yakima Chief Hops, have been growing hops in the Pacific Northwest for generations, some as far back as 1869. YCH maintains a seamless partnership with Yakima Chief Ranches, a crop management company that specializes in breeding new hop varieties. Through YCR’s joint hop breeding venture with John I. Haas–Hop Breeding Company–they’ve developed craft beer mainstays like Citra®, Mosaic®, Ekuanot®, and Sabro®.

YCH’s partnership with YCR works to connect brewers with these exciting new hop varieties from experimental phase to official release. Each year, YCH hosts their annual hop selection, inviting a well-rounded group of brewers from across the globe to select and provide feedback on the freshly harvested crop. Surly Head Brewer Ben Smith’s annual trip to Yakima for the brewery’s hop selection is by far the high point of his year. Think of it like a candy store, but for hops.

Beyond its aromatic parfait, Idaho 7® is a workhorse that plays well with other hops, accentuating their traits without overwhelming them. Surly’s pilot beer, named Hop Chauffeur after an ancient, still-functioning Lincoln Town Car limousine that lives in one of YCH’s fields, pairs Idaho 7® with the tropical-leaning Sabro® in a 2:1 ratio. We tapped it in the beer hall on (appropriately) the 7th of July, which also happens to be Ben’s birthday.

To learn more about this project, please enjoy this conversation between Nate, Ben, and Steve and Joe from YCH about this collaboration, what YCH does, and why they brought this hop to Surly:

 

 

 

 

More Recent News

Hop Stop Won’t Stop

#BeerRelease

Are you looking for hops? Stop. The Surly Hop Stop variety pack is the ultimate destination for the discerning hop lover. In addition to our hoppy Furious flagship, you’ll find our latest Idaho 7™-driven hazy IPA, a double dry-hopped pale ale worthy of adulation, and an IPA that drums up a feast of citrusy Sultana … Continued

Bring the Tropics Home

#BeerRelease

In 2021 we introduced the first Supreme Variety Pack. The crisp, refreshing flavor of Grapefruit, Mango, Black Cherry, and Key Lime Supreme immediately stood out amidst a sea of bland seltzers and it became one of Surly’s top year-round sellers and a summer staple. What do you do for an encore? You introduce the Tropical … Continued

FAQs About Lacuna Cold IPA

#BeerRelease

Q: Aren’t all IPAs cold? A: Well, you could serve them hot, but we wouldn’t recommend it as such. Q: Very funny, wiseass. What makes a Cold IPA a Cold IPA? A: Cold IPA is not just the preferred serving temperature for a hop-forward craft beer. It also describes a relatively new approach to IPA … Continued