If you’re into Caribbean voodoo like we are, you’re a fan of Azacca — he’s a Haitian god of agriculture. He’s a simple, gentle farmer who watches the fields and is greatly respected by the peasants he represents since he is, like them, a hard worker. But, he’s also a hillbilly who likes to eat, drink, gossip and chase girls, which makes him an ideal character for a hop and a beer. In the world of American agriculture, Azacca is a hop with big citrus and tropical fruit tones and excellent aromatic qualities, which have quickly made it a go-to hop for late and dry hop additions in varying styles of beer. Formerly known as #483 (a way lamer name), Azacca was developed the American Dwarf Hop Association.
Recently, Founders Brewing Co. put the spotlight on Azacca. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based craft brewery announced that it will introduce Azacca IPA, an IPA using just one relatively new experimental hop, as the first seasonal offering of 2016. Azacca IPA is brewed exclusively with Azacca hops, a special variety grown by Yakima-based Roy Farms. Azacca IPA includes a touch of caramel malt to provide a sweet backbone to the citrus, mango and orchard fruit flavors in this 7 percent ABV beer. The label artwork symbolizes the god of agriculture watching over a field where the ingredients used to brew the beer are being grown.
“It’s no secret that hops inspire us,” noted Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki. “I love to design beers that showcase the profile of new varieties. One of my favorite things about Azacca is how versatile it is throughout the brewing process; it’s great for bittering, flavoring, aroma and dry-hopping, and the citrus and tropical fruit characteristics make it ideal for an American-style IPA.”
Azacca IPA is the newest addition to Founders’ treasured IPA lineup, which includes Centennial IPA, All Day IPA, Devil Dancer, reDANKulous and Double Trouble. Azacca IPA will be available on draft and in 12-ounce bottles across the Founders distribution network, which now includes 37 states, January through March 2016. The suggested retail price is $9.99 per six-pack.