…And the hops craze continues – Hoppy Gin Tonics, anyone?
These days, brewers add almost anything from the pantry to their brews, and cocktail bartenders add anything non-lethal to their cocktails.
From out-shat coffee beans in stouts, tobacco and bacon infused bourbons, the lists of weird combos in alcohols history are endless.
That’s cool – weird stuff is nice – but we actually wanted to begin this blogpost in an angry this lunacy has to stop-vibe. But truth is that To Øls newest staffie works night and day to do the exact opposite of the first mentioned: Taking one of the most important factors away from beer and place it a different environment.
Hoppy Tonics are on the rise!
Adding hops to other subjects is not a new thing at all. It’s been done over and over again, sometimes not for the better though. Adding an overly bitter substance to an already existing form and balance is difficult and should be done with care.
Basically hops contains all the flavours you wish for in a tonic, and they can be revealed differently – depending on how you extract your hops. To get a hold of the harsh bitterness, the alpha acids and phenols, we apply heat. To reveal the more aromatic delicate citrusy, piney and fruity flavours, we macerate or dry hop as the cool kids calls it.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are right in front of you; why not let hops be the carrying flavour in a dry soda? And compliment it with a fruit that matches the hops – if it’s even necessary to add fruits.
Our reason to make soda is first of all because we love hops, but it’s also because we feel we can contribute to making the soft drink market a bit more interesting. Soft drinks shelves in the supermarket are looking strikingly a lot like the beer shelves some 10-15 years ago – simple, short and subjugated by a single supplier.
If we look at all the wonderful side effects from a large hops intake, it looks rather appealing – hops is used against anxiety, insomnia, ADHD, indigestion, prostate and breast cancer, bladder infections and most importantly priapism (It’s not that important, but we had to google it and weren’t disappointed).
Hoppy Tonics isn’t a new idea. There are several products on the market in the US and Europe, but we still haven’t found a product that nails the balance and reveals the hops in it’s purest form. Longevity is a issue here: It’s hard to expect that it’ll be possible to make a hoppy soda that’ll sit on supermarket shelves for 6 months, when you already try to clear you fridges IPA selection within weeks.
For To Øl balance has always been a key factor and although it’s fun to crank the extreme-o-meter and create head turning tough products that’ll send you to the ground, our most important job is to make tasteful products and leave all the overly bitter, strong or sweet stuff to the amateurs.
We promise to inform you when we start bottling!
Psst: Some of our test batches are currently consumed at War Pigs brewpub kegged and ready for you to take a break from hops (without taking a break!)