Brewing beer for an event with family and/or friends can be a trying experience. Brewing something for the crowd will enjoy while keeping it interesting for yourself or your more beer appreciative friends can be a tough balancing act. This week, we taste and discuss John’s latest approach to a New Age Hop Pale Ale that presents strong hop flavors and aromas with minimal bitterness.

Since there are so many hops to chose from these days, it can be a dizzying decision.

The category of hoppy beers is so open now.

Classic resinous bitter beer? Yep, you can brew that.

American ‘C’ hop profile as as citrus and pine monster? Sure – brew it.

New Age fruity hop gravy bombs? Of course, who isn’t brewing one of those?

9% in a beer that should be 6%? (OK, maybe this one is a pet peeve of mine to be discussed in a different post).

Not to be outdone with these tough choices, John decided an American Pale Ale would be a good choice to put out for some friends at a causal gather at the house. He wanted to brew something that would keep the widest range of folks coming back for more so he chose a tropical fruit flavor forward, new age hop based Pale Ale.

This beer pours a clean yellow with nice white head. The aroma was decidedly fruit forward, mostly tropical with a backing of citrus. The bitterness was subdued but it could have been tweaked a bit (see note below). Overall, it was a winning beer that many people liked and enjoyed. We didn’t kick the keg but it did kick with only a few short pints a week after the party.

New Age Hop Pale Ale Recipe
Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.010

Grain bill:
10 lbs Maris Otter pale malt
1 lbs Bohemian Pilsner

Mill grains into mash tun and mash at 152°F for 60 mins.

Collect 6.5 gallons of wort into your brew kettle for a 60 minute boil.

Add these hops at these amount at these times to go in the boil.

.5 oz Simcoe hops – 60 mins
.5 oz Simcoe hops – 30 mins
1 oz Chinook hops – 15 mins

(1 Whirlfloc tablet – 15 mins)

1 oz Centennial hops – 5 mins
1 oz Cascade hops -5 mins
1 oz Equinox hops – Flameout
1 oz Citra hops – Flameout

Chill to 68°F and transfer wort to your fermentation vessel

Pitch yeast – I used 1 packet of Safale 05 and 1 packet of Safale 004

Ferment for two weeks. With 4 days to go in fermentation, added 1 oz Citra hops to dry hop before kegging.

Notes: I thought the Simcoe hops that were added early in the boil could be reduced. It wasn’t unpleasant but if I were to brew this batch again, I would reduce the Simcoe hops bittering charge to a quarter of an ounce at 60 minutes and move the Chinook addition to 30 minutes to see if the fruity flavors popped even more.