Here at Zipline, we push boundaries. And nothing exemplifies that better than Denali Farmhouse, a beer borne from experiment and named for the epic mountain peak.
Denali, an experimental hop known previously only as a number, takes the stage in this Belgian-style farmhouse ale. How does a hop get a name? Bringing a new hop breed to market takes a little more than even Mendel may have imagined. The fragrant green cones used in brewing are from female hop plants. Male hop plants, used only in breeding, lack the botanical anatomy to produce the bittering and aromatic oils needed in brewing. And so, crossing hops becomes a bit more complicated, as researchers seek out the male counterparts to the desired female cones. When a successful cross is cultivated, it takes more than a single sniff to know if it’s useful. Along with lab testing to determine disease resistance, alpha acid content, and other data, multiple test batches of beer need to be produced to have an understanding of how the hop will function as an ingredient. Needless to say, a potential hop breed can undergo years of testing before being released for commercial use.
Denali successfully made it through its many trials, and comes to the market as a hop unlike any other. The Denali hop brings spicy, citrusy aroma and adds an herbal bitterness similar to Earl Grey Tea. Used in combination with a Belgian farmhouse yeast, this earthy, rosy ale presents an unexpected flavor profile sure to shake things up. Reminiscent of fragrant grapefruit rinds, Denali pushes this estery ale out to the edge what craft beer can be.
Denali Farmhouse releases Friday in the taproom. Join us, along with Chez Hay catering, for a Friday night toasting creative risks with a mountain of rewards. Try Denali alongside Motueka Saison, Hibiscus Saison, and Barrel-Aged Hibiscus Saison for a cross section of Belgian goodness.