Is there anything more exciting than a new strain of hop? Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is showcasing the wild Neomexicanus hop for the first time on a national stage. Originally found during a backcountry quest in the foothills of Taos, N. M., the bizarre cones of the Neomexicanus hop produce multiple heads—aptly nicknamed Medusa—and Harvest Wild Hop IPA boasts these vibrant melon, apricot and citrus aromas.
“There’s a fun sense of adventure in our final Harvest beer of the year,” said Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada’s founder. “The Neomexicanus hop was a lucky find by a rogue hophead combing the wild landscape, and he’s essentially gifted it to craft beer. We’re always looking for new aromas and flavors, and when they’re unexpected, it’s all the more exciting.”
Throughout 2014, the inaugural Harvest series explored newly developed hop varieties and different hopping methods: single hop (Yakima 291 and Equinox), fresh hop (Southern Hemisphere Harvest), wet hop (Northern Hemisphere Harvest), and wild hop. Sierra Nevada will reimagine the Harvest series for 2015, with the first release slated for February.
Tied to the Harvest series and its celebration of hops, Sierra Nevada last month hosted its second annual Single, Fresh, Wet & Wild Harvest Festival in Chico, Calif. More than 50 brewers from across the country celebrated the annual hop harvest, pouring a selection of their beers that included at least one single hop, fresh hop, wet hop or wild hop beer.
The 24-ounce bottles ship to distributors starting this week and will be available through January 2015.