Jun 24, 2016

Schlafly Brewing Hop Trial: Bramling Cross

I love concepts like Schlafly’s Hop Trials SMaSH (single malt and single hop) Pack. On July 4th, the company will release this twelve pack that includes three bottles using Hallertau Blanc, Bramling Cross, Enigma, and Eureka! hop varieties. Much like Flying Dog’s Single Hop imperial IPA series that they’ve been releasing for years and more recently Starr Hill’s King of Hop variety pack, this latest offering from Schlafly offers the beer drinker the opportunity to explore how different hops affect the same beer.

The Hop Trials SMaSH beers all employ a 6.5% ABV (45 IBU) golen ale as their base and only 2-Row in the malt bill. The hop variety in each is different and with this first bottle, the Bramling Cross provides an interesting array of aromas and flavors. Hints of grass, lemony notes and a peppery tingle tickle the nose while the hop delivers a unique touch of dark berries once the brew hits your lips.

The Bramling Cross version of this beer is refreshing and, with a low-to-moderate hop bite, goes down dangerously smoothly. So far, this variety pack is off to a great start. I’m really looking forward to the remaining bottles to see how the chosen hops affect that base golden ale. With so many different hop varieties (old and newly experimental) that projects like this are nearly limitless — I can’t wait for more breweries to tackle releases like this.

This is a review of a promotional sample.