Schlafly Beer, St. Louis, introduced the Hop Trial SMaSH Pack, an experimental new variety pack featuring four distinct hops. The pack offers three bottles of four beers that featuring four different experimental hop varieties across the flavor spectrum: Hallertau Blanc (floral), Bramling Cross (spicy), Enigma (fruity) and Eureka! (piney).
The Hop Trial pack features four single-malt and single-hop (SMaSH) beers. For the first installment of the Hop Trial pack, the Schlafly team utilized well-known and established hops to introduce the concept of how to isolate a single varietal to the everyday beer consumer, the company says.
“In our two brewpub locations, we talk to consumers and educate them on the different flavor profiles of our beers,” Ambassador Brewer Stephen Hale said in a statement. “With the Hop Trial variety pack, they can conduct a tasting of the four Hop Trial beers in their own home, and our packaging gives them the tasting notes to decipher the differences.”
The Hop Trial program originated at the brewery’s Tap Room and Bottleworks locations. Schlafly also is working with hops farmers to test out hops that will soon be introduced to market, it explains. Schlafly offers feedback to the hop farmers on flavor and aromatic profiles, as well as viability in finished products.
Hale added: “Many of these hops are still in the early stages, on very small plots, some without trade names. We’re able to trial these very specific hops, some where we have selected them from the field, for the brewers to evaluate.”
Last fall, the Schlafly team began soliciting consumer feedback on the Hop Trial hops. Every month, a different SMaSH Hop Trial beer is introduced on-draft at the brewpub locations, and consumers share their tasting notes on the Hop Trial Boards. This year’s Hop Trial beers have included varieties such as Michigan Cascade, 07270, a Steiner hop, HBC 291 from Yakima, WA, and more. After brewer and consumer feedback, these SMaSH beers have the potential to make next year’s variety pack, the company says. This past year, Schlafly used 102 different hops within its portfolio, it adds.
Additionally, the Hop Trial SMaSH Pack helps promote Schlafly’s Hop in the Cityevent, which will take place Sept. 17, noon-5 p.m. The annual event features more than 40 Schlafly beers, food and live music.
The Hop Trial variety pack can be purchased at the Bottleworks or Tap Room locations as well as across Schlafly’s distribution area with a suggested retail price of $13.99.