A Graphic Designer Walks Into a Hop Field April 16 2019
What does a graphic designer know about making varietal hop concentrate? After all, I'm no chemist, brewer,* farmer** or any kind of food scientist.
What I am is really, really stubborn, and really, really passionate about hops! And apparently, that's what it takes! Through trial and error,*** I've figured something out.
I am beyond excited that people I respect think so, too! Jamie Bogner of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine made Bert's Beer Baster™ one of his Editors' picks in the February/March 2019 issue of this delightful magazine. Full review below in case you can't read the tiny print in this tiny staged photo.
"When Dave Selden of 33 Books hit us up with the pitch, we were skeptical—what’s the point of hops concentrate like this? He shot back with a few use cases—understanding what each individual hops variety tastes like by adding to a “neutral” beer, the “Midwest wedding” case where you’re stuck drinking beer you don’t want to drink and can add some interesting flavor to it, and (of course) the homebrewer case—adding hops flavor without all the vegetal matter that absorbs and robs you of precious homebrew or clogs your siphon. Curious, we tried the concentrates ourselves (for science, of course) and found that in practice, they’re every bit as useful as he advertises for beer drinkers looking to understand unique hops flavors or homebrewers looking to use similar advanced hops products for their beers that the pros use. The concentrates are intense, but the “bang for the buck” factor is high, and in practice they’re perfect for everyone from beer enthusiasts looking to articulate the flavor of individual hops to homebrewers who want to add that hops character without all the muss and fuss."
Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine
You really get me, Jamie. Thank you for the kind words.
Stan Hieronymus, who literally wrote the book on hops, had this to say in his Hop Queries newsletter:
If you'd like to give Bert's a shot yourself, there's a four-pack sampler available for $38, or you can try individual varieties for $10 each. I just added a new one, Saaz, which is in super short supply but super, super awesome. I hope you dig it.
* I am a homebrewer.
** I do care for 30-something cider apple trees. So, more of an orchardist, really.
*** Soooo many errors. My first batches were charitably described by some as "extremely bitter hop-flavored milk." Yuck.
****Yes, he writes a newsletter about hops. Yes, you should subscribe.