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Oct
21
Anne Sprecher
The 2019 Hops Blend is Here!
Membership Meeting, News
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Time to get stoked! At the 2018 GABF fall members meeting hops rub everyone participated in creating the hops blend for the 2019 Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day. Membership voted on their favorite; now the experts at Yakima Chief Hops are creating and packaging this exclusive blend. Just like last year, Yakima Chief Hops will donate $3 from every pound sold to Pink Boots Society. Don’t delay! Order your hops by December 3rd. Hooray for great partners!

Cheers to Natasha Peiskar, Head Brewer at Last Best Brewing & Distilling in Calgary, Canada, who, with the help of Barbara McDonald (Dean & Co. Brewing, La Junta, Colorado) and Sam Olson (Fourpenny House, La Mesa, California), created the winning blend. This year it will be:

  • 3 parts Loral
  • 2 parts Glacier
  • 1 part Mosaic
  • 1 part Simcoe
  • 1 part Sabro

Aroma notes: Stone Fruit, Tropical, Dank, allowing you to go a lot of different directions with your style choice.

Want to participate in the 2019 Collaboration Brew Day? All the information you need can be found on the Pink Boots website.

Read On to Learn How Natasha Created the Winning Blend!

Pink Boots Society: Natasha, for those who weren’t at the hops rub, what transpired?

Natasha Peiskar: In the beginning,  everyone individually assessed the hop plugs provided by YCH. Each person in attendance had 5 coins with which to vote for the individual hops that they liked. I am not entirely sure, but we assessed at least 15 varietals.

From there we were invited to start creating blends with the top 6 voted hop varietals: Glacier, Cashmere, Mosaic, Loral, Sabro and Simcoe. Those who participated in blending put forth their creation for final voting in which each member was given one coin to vote in the final blend.

PB: You created the blend with the help of Barbara and Sam. Were you paired up, did you know each other?

NP: Actually the pairing up just happened naturally. As everyone was going through the hops assessment, conversations broke out and fast friendships were formed. I’m definitely thankful for Barb and Sam’s feedback in order to create the final blend we put forth for voting.

We started out with the individual hop plugs and I was looking for varieties with great stone fruit (apricot, peach), tropical (pineapple, passionfruit), bright citrus and then a little dank to balance it all out; secondarily, I was really interested in the new varieties that were on the table and wanted to work those in. Once the varieties were voted in I got to working on a blend. My first 2 blends were tossers, just a real hot mess of too much going on.

Instead of the blend being bright and balanced the aromas were dull and muddled. Nothing really shone through, it just seemed like the varietals were competing against each other instead of being complementary. Just as I got to one I thought I liked, Sam noted that she got green pepper (and then that’s all I could smell). This is where Barb was really helpful. She and I worked to tweak that last blend by upping the Loral and Glacier and decreasing the Mosaic to get to our final blend.

PB: Did you have a beer style in mind for this blend?

NP: As far as a beer style goes, that wasn’t something I was really targeting. I was looking for a very versatile blend that would work well in a hoppy blonde, but still hold its own in a DDH style or even a dry hopped sour.

About Natasha Peiskar:

Natasha is the Head Brewer at Last Best Brewing & Distilling in Calgary, Canada. She previously worked at Tool Shed Brewing and Bomber Brewing. Prior to brewing she was the Brand Manager for National Beer Hall (as part of Concorde Group) in Alberta, managing the beer lists for four (4) restaurants (60-72 taps/location), beer education, events, brand and general PR. She also spent a year as the Alberta rep for Copper & Theory, representing brands including Upright, Ninkasi, Gigantic, and Breakside.

Natasha achieved her Advanced Cicerone status in 2018. She is only the 8th person in Canada to do so. (Congrats, Natasha!)