I’m probably never going to own a brewery. This is a statement of fact, not of regret. I have an awesome career that has nothing to do with the beer industry. Plus, I brew, drink and write about beer for fun. Sometimes when a hobby becomes a job it loses some of its luster. Still, I like to imagine the kind of beers I would make if I had my own brewery, this tends to influence the beers I buy along with my homebrewing. One thing I would definitely focus on is single-hop beers. I’m a scientist at heart (and professionally), and I like to know exactly how each variety of hop affects the final product. The best way to learn about a particular hop is to use it to make beer. The standard way to do a series of single hop beers is to use the same malt profile and just switch the variety of hop. Brewmaster Jack uses a slightly different tactic for their Hop Essence single hop series, adjusting the malt profile to complement each variety of hop. The newest beer in this series is Huell Melon, an American pale ale brewed with an experimental new variety of hop developed by the Hull Research Institute in Germany. This is one of three experimental hops acquired by Brewmaster Jack. Each is being used to brew a single hop APA with the same malt profile.
Brewmaster Jack Hop Essence Huell Melon pours a red tinted-amber, slightly hazy with a moderate white head. The smell is mostly hops, pine and citrus fruit. The taste is also hop-forward but restrained, notes of orange, guava, resin and grass. There is some bitterness, but this is clearly a pale ale and not an IPA. The malt backbone is solid, balancing out the beer with some hints of grainy bread and a little toffee. The beer is easy to drink, and not overly heavy at 6% ABV – a nice beer for summer. The finish is clean with just a hint of bitter hops and malt sweetness left in the aftertaste. Brewmaster Jack Huell Melon is a solid beer showcasing an interesting new variety of hop. It will be interesting to see if any of these experimental varieties catch on. Hoppy Boston score 4.25/5
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