Taste and vote on the next great hop with Worthy Brewing

Homebrewing with fresh hops

Bend’s Worthy Brewing is experimenting with hops for the month of March. In conjunction with Indie Hops (which Worthy owner Roger Worthington founded) and Oregon State University, they have four new hop varieties to play with, and they brewed four identical pale ales each using one of these new hops. Starting Wednesday, March 1, Worthy is inviting the public down to their pub to sample all four and vote on their favorite:

Help us choose the next hop varieties. We’d love your feedback on beers brewed with experimental hops from the Indie Hops/OSU Experimental Hops Breeding Program. For $5, you can try pale ales brewed with experimental hops 1007-35, C1002-37, G9-1-374 & C115L-1​

They will be doing this from the 1st through Sunday the 5th, and then later in the month they will be taking the beers on the road. Here’s the official word:

Worthy Brewing will be holding tastings throughout Oregon and Washington on beers brewed with hops produced by Portland-based Indie Hops and Oregon State University’s Experimental Hop Breeding Program.

“We’re looking for the public’s feedback on the aroma and taste to help the Indie Hops/OSU program with futuring breeding projects,” said Worthy Brewing’s Brewmaster, Dustin Kellner. “It’s a great opportunity for craft beer lovers to help choose up-and-coming hop varieties.”

Worthy’s brewery team brewed up four pale ales using the following experimental hops: 1007-35, C1002-37, G9-1-374 and C115L-1.​

Worthy Brewing’s team will be at the following venues holding flight tastings:

  • Ongoing through March 5: Worthy Brewing – 429 NE Bellevue Drive, Bend, Oregon 97701
  • March 18: Produce Row – 204 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214
  • March 20: Roscoe’s – 8105 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

More dates are coming for Seattle, Eugene, and Medford stops on the Worthy hop tour.

I spoke a bit with brewer Dustin Kellner about this during Zwickelmania, and in fact they had two of these single hop pale ales pouring that day. The plan is, you’ll get four-ounce tasters of all four beers, which will cost the $5. (I told him to charge $8 since it’s a specialty tasting, but the pub (wisely) chose to charge $5 which is the same as their 16-ounce pint price.) The two pouring at Zwickelmania had vastly different hop character, so it will be interesting to compare all four.

I don’t know what the plans are, yet, for the “winning” hop, if it will ultimately be featured as a regular lineup IPA, pale, or something else. But this reminds me a few years back when Deschutes Brewery did the same voting experiment with Mirror Pond Pale Ale. I think it’s a good model to use your pub as the laboratory/beta testing of new beers, ingredients, or recipe tweaks, so if you get the chance to taste and opine on Worthy’s new hop pale ales, by all means do so!