The Latest Idle Hands Release - Heads Up Play: Germany vs USA

In the past we’ve made announcements of new beers on Facebook and Twitter. While that’s worked pretty well, we thought you might appreciate a deeper dive into why we brewed what we did, particularly with this next release.

As I type this, kegs of Heads Up Play: Germany vs USA are on their way to our new distributor, Craft Collective, and should be heading out to accounts next week.

Heads Up Play is a concept/project whereby we take the unique characteristics that regional hops contribute to beer and bring them together in a showdown. While there really are no winners or losers in this, we thought it would be a fun way to highlight some of the uniqueness you find between global hop growing regions.

Our process is simple, we brew 20 bbls of the beer on Night Shift’s brewhouse using a combination of both region’s hops in the kettle to bring a melange of the flavors together. We then split those 20 bbls into our two 10 bbl fermenters and pitch the same neutral yeast strain into both. Once fermentation is complete, we double dry hop each tank with hops that are exclusive to that region and bring the total hops per bbl to 4 pounds.

In our first matchup, we have the powerhouse USA with its new world intense, fruity/citrus hop profiles up against the much more old school and venerated Germany who will be bringing some of the newer, more American-style hops that have recently been developed to the show.

Tasting Notes

Germany — We used Saphir, Manderina Bavaria and Hull Melon as examples of the newer hop varieties that are now coming out of Germany. The end result is an elegant, refined hop character with notes of ripe cantaloupe, candied sweet orange peel and a touch of grass in the finish.

USA –  We used Palisade, Azacca and Citra to showcase the strong citrus characteristics that are a hallmark of pacific northwest hops. The result is a much more in your face, deep citrus punch with notes of orange pith and a touch of tropical fruit.

Which one do you prefer? Well, you’ll have to taste them both to find out and as luck would have it, our friends at Night Shift Brewing have been kind enough to tap both versions at the same time starting Thursday!  So stop by their tap room to weigh in. We’ll be there this Thursday between 6 and 8pm to chat about the uniqueness of each variation and gather your opinions and thoughts for future matchups.


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