And just how large is that? Imagine this: 2,000 individual craft beer entries covering 156 specific styles (156!) from 44 states and three countries. It’s so much craft beer, it takes nearly 80 people three days to judge it all.
At the 2018 Best of Craft Beer Awards, held in Bend, Oregon over the last weekend of January, Hop Valley’s Bubble Stash took home a coveted gold medal in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale category. Made with innovative Cryo Hops®, Bubble Stash lies in the sweet spot between traditional IPAs and American Pale Ales and has been winning over craft beer lovers since it debuted. And it clearly won over the judges, too, besting 35 other entries in the category to take the top spot.
Cryo Hops®, developed by our friends at YCH Hops in Yakima, Washington, offer an advanced and pioneering product for hop delivery and give Bubble Stash its unique character. With Cryo Hops®, the hops are exposed to extreme cold that separates the lupulin glands from the rest of the hop cone. Those lupulin glands 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.
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 and aroma notes of tangerine, blueberry and bubblegum—something the Best of Craft Beer Awards’ judges clearly appreciated.
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 Bubble Stash malt bill simple to help showcase the unique attributes of the Mosaic variety of hops. Described as fruity, smooth, clean and floral, this beer is a bursted bubble bonanza of beautiful sensory bombardment.
Go for the gold with a Best of Craft Beer Awards winner. Look for Bubble Stash on tap and in 12oz cans wherever you find Hop Valley products.