Comrade Brewing | Fresh Hop Superpower IPA
Comrade Brewing’s Fresh Hop Superpower IPA bursts with vibrant and intense hop flavor. Using over 500 pounds of hops from Colorado craft hop growers Billy Goat Hop Farm, the Denver brewery has amped up its already-hoppy IPA.
Bursting With Flavor
In a tradition going back almost ten years, Comrade wet-hopped its Superpower IPA with fresh Cascade, Chinook and Crystal hops. The result is a flavor bomb of floral, grassy, and herbal hop flavors that explode out of the beer onto the nose and palate.
To put the hoppiness in full context, the fresh hop version uses four times as many hops as standard Superpower. While not technically a flavor descriptor, “green” is the best way to relate the freshness and flavor of the hop components. Aside from the vibrantly fresh flavor and aroma, the wet hop version tracks closely to the standard Superpower in color and body.
Local Hops Insure Freshness
In the past, Comrade used hops from the Pacific Northwest but in recent years has moved to a more local focus. Billy Goat Farms in Montrose, Colo., supplied all of the hops for this year’s brew. The craft hop farm grows approximately 32 acres in western Colorado and was able to provide the volume and quality that Comrade needed.
Harvest Drives the Beer
David Lin, owner of Comrade, enjoys the connection that fresh hop beers have with the land. Because of the variability of the fresh agricultural products, brewers must build their hop bill and brew date around each year’s unique crop. “We are at the mercy of growing conditions and what the farmer tells us about how the plants are doing,” he said. He added, “We’re waiting for the small harvest window and you’ve got to jump on it when you can.” Comrade works closely with the experts at Billy Goat to build the hop bill and pick the brew date.
Lin also enjoys the way that dependence on natural processes links the beer with time-honored traditions. “It’s the last seasonal beer that exists. You can brew Oktoberfest any time of the year or you can crack a can of squash any time of the year,” he says. With fresh hops, however, brewers only have a short time frame when hops are at their peak.
Superpower IPA’s Medal-Winning Tradition
Comrade has a long track record of excellence with its Superpower series. Superpower IPA won GABF medals in 2019 and 2020, and Fresh Hop Superpower has also won two medals. Comrade entered both beers into this year’s GABF, and the brew will be on tap at the brewery through the festival. It’s also available at local taprooms.
Featured image courtesy of Chris Powell