As we zoom in on hop products that weren’t available to 20th-century brewers, Stan Hieronymus interviews SoRSE’s Jim Boyd for the Beer & Brewing Industry Guide Fall 2022. He examines a few of the many flowable alternatives that may boost the bottom line as well as help ensure aroma and flavor quality.
First, Jim Boyd pops the cap on a bottle of Pacifico.
He pours a couple of ounces into a cup.
“That’s the base,” he says. It is bright, light bodied, and it has little aroma.
He squeezes a few drops from a vial. “How much mouthfeel do you want?” he asks. This addition certainly adds texture.
He pours another, adding drops from a second vial. This sample is hazy.
Once again, he fills a cup, adding a few drops from a third vial. The result smells and tastes of New World hops.
Then he combines the three pours. The blend doesn’t taste like Other Half HDHC Dense, but compared to Pacifico, it is a good-sized step in that direction.
Sometimes Boyd pours Pacifico; other times Bud Light or whatever might be in the available in the brewery he is visiting. He is VP of brewery products for SōRSE Technology, a supplier of water-soluble CBD, hemp, and terpene emulsions, and the company recently began selling hops-based products. He previously spent almost 20 years working at Hop Union and Roy Farms, and he started back before craft brewers would consider using any form of hops beyond cones or pellets in their beer – or, in fact, before they would package beer in cans.
“I remember when brewers would say metal would never touch my lips,” says Phil Chou, director of brewing solutions at John I. Haas. These days, cans of craft beer might even advertise the advanced products they are using – such as Salvo Sultana or Incognito Mosaic.
“A decade ago, that would have never happened,” says Colin Wilson, managing director at Totally Natural Solutions.