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Bubble Stash IPA: Beer Evolved

Sometimes evolution tastes delicious. Take, for example, Hop Valley’s new Bubble Stash IPA made with all-new Cryo Hops from our friends at YCH Hops in Yakima, Washington.

Cryo as in cryogenic. As in cold. As in the coldest cold you can imagine, then even colder. They expose the hops to this sub-freezing environment and that’s when things fall apart. Literally. Specifically, the lupulin glands in the hops separate from the rest of the cone. What results is a pile of concentrated, super-pure hop resin just begging to be combined with some malt and McKenzie River water and brewed into sweet, sweet craft beer.

Those lupulin glands? They’re tiny sacks of magical goodness found within the hop cone. Packing a wallop for their small size, they contain the bittering alpha and beta acids and the essential oils that impart flavor, aroma and all the hop-tastic qualities we love about beer. The hop cone itself is just a delivery device. By taking the plant material associated with the cone out of the brewing equation, the Cryo Hops eliminate any unpleasant grassy, astringent or vegetative notes that can sometimes be imparted to beer through the plant matter. That means improved smoothness and, for Bubble Stash, amplified flavors, dankness and aroma notes of tangerine, blueberry and bubblegum. Oh yeah.

We’ve been on the trail of this whole concentrated lupulin thing for a while now. Hop Valley brewer Patty (Patrick Whiting) actually brewed the original Bubble Stash back in 2012. Though since we didn’t have access to super-sweet science-fueled cryogenic systems, we asked YCH Hops to scrape up the concentrated hop resin that was left on the blades of the processing equipment needed to make hop pellets and used that. The Cryo Hops offer a better, more precise way to extract the lupulin glands and the method leaves them intact and unharmed. The cryogenic process also removes chances of oxidation, further protecting each variety’s bright hop characteristics. Dank.

Since Cryo Hops are a concentrate and carry nearly double the amount of alpha acids as their traditional full-cone counterpart, we add the hops in a technique called “hop bursting”. This means the first hop additions aren’t added until late in the boil, restricting bitterness and maximizing flavor and aroma. We also kept the malt bill simple to help showcase the unique attributes of the Mosaic variety of hops. Double dank.

Bubble Stash IPA represents an evolution in the category and that innovation is reflected in the beer’s measurements: 45 IBU and 6.2% ABV. This sits in a sweet spot between traditional IPAs and American Pale Ales and offers a very approachable and easy-drinking IPA perfect for those who enjoy bright hop aromas and flavor without much “bite” or lingering bitterness. Described as fruity, smooth, clean and floral, this beer is a bursted bubble bonanza of beautiful sensory bombardment. And it’s soon to be your new favorite secret stash.

Unique, distinct and damn tasty, Bubble Stash IPA shows how craft beer evolves. Look for it on tap and in 12oz cans wherever you find Hop Valley products.