In Hop Pursuit

HopDate January 8, 2010:  Indie Hops Pledges $200,000 to OSU for Hop Chemistry Research 

Portland, Or.-  Indie Hops has pledged $200,000 to fund aroma hop chemistry research at Oregon State University. The gift will be used by Dr. Thomas Shellhammer, Ph.D, of the Department of Food Science and Technology over a four year period.

"Indie Hops is committed to learning more about how hop flavors and aromas that people like are created, and using that knowledge in the pursuit of new 'super aroma' hop varieties," said Roger Worthington, owner of Indie Hops, a new aroma hop supplier whose pellet milling and storage facility is located in Hubbard, Oregon.

Scientists have identified over 250 essential hop oils, but there is still more mystery than understanding about how these oils contribute hop aroma and flavor in beer.

"We love the mystery," says Indie Hops CEO Jim Solberg.  "A prime allure to craft beer is the blend of art and science in the craft.  Brewmasters continue to advance their art to move the industry forward, and we believe that advancement in the underlying science strengthens the platform on which brewers apply their magic."

To help identify desirable hop compounds, Dr. Shellhammer's lab will conduct experiments involving brewers, flavor specialists and consumers.  His research will include human sensory panels to assess flavors and aromas of hops based on traditional hand-rub methods as well as examining beers brewed from OSU's pilot brewery.

Dr. Shellhammer will design the sensory panel materials and methods, then evaluate the human sensory data along with corresponding chemical analyses to identify possible relationships. Those relationships will be used in future hop varietal development at OSU which we hope will lead to exciting new varieties for brewers.

"The overall program goal is two-fold," reports Solberg.  "First, we hope to illuminate useful data for aroma hop breeding and evaluation.  Second, results of this research will be made public, and provide brewers with new data that will add to their craftiness."

Indie Hops has also reached an "agreement in principle" with OSU on the creation of a new aroma hops breeding program. The program will span four years and Indie Hops has agreed to a budget of $807,000. Altogether, Indie Hops has pledged slightly over $1 million to Oregon State towards research on brewing and hops breeding. Stay tuned for more details on exciting developments from Indie Hops.

For information about OSU aroma hop chemistry research please contact Dr. Thomas Shellhammer,, 541.737.9308.

To learn more about Indie Hops' inventory, pelleting mill, brewer/farmer feedback loop and business vision, contact Jim Solberg at Indie Hops, LLC,, 1.877.719.4677(HOPS). 

January 8, 2010

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Pilot Brewery,
Oregon State University,
Corvallis, Oregon


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