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Associated Press Article

AP reporter captures 'Gasthaus' brew day at Von Ebert Brewing
 

“How researchers, farmers and brewers want to safeguard beer against climate change”

The Associated Press reached out to us to discuss the effects of climate change and beer. Reporters joined us at Von Ebert Brewing for a collaboration pilot brew of an experimental hop we are thinking of advancing because it may provide a more earth-friendly and stable alternative to classic landrace varieties that have been impacted by climate change. They interviewed Indie Hops CEO Jim Solberg and hop grower Gayle Goschie.

Article excerpt: “Researchers have known for a while that beer production will be affected by climate change, said Mirek Trnka, a professor at the Global Change Research Institute. He and his team recently authored a study modeling the effect of climate change on hops, out last month in Nature Communications, that projected that yields in Europe will decrease between four to 18% by 2050. His first study on hops 15 years ago issued a similar warning to his latest paper.

“’If we don’t act, we’re just going to also lose things that we consider not to be, for example, sensitive or related to climate change. Like beer,’ he said.”

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Indie Hops is focused on developing unique hop varieties that help brewers satisfy the broad flavor palate of beverage consumers.

Each year we evaluate more than one hundred new genotypes in pursuit of exceptional flavor profiles. It’s a different experience every year, and we’re not exactly sure what we’ll find, but we’re generally looking for hops that fill a market need, which could be a super unique and compelling flavor profile, or even a hop that addresses an unstable supply situation.
Several years ago, a hop caught our attention, not so much because it delivered new and unique characteristics, but because it was quite familiar. We nick-named it ‘Gasthaus’ for its striking similarity to many of the German landrace hops that are prized by lager loving brewers. Knowing that brewers already had a supply of exceptional German varieties, we didn’t think this genotype would have a place in the market. But it was so stunningly similar to the traditional German lager hops already in the market, we decided to keep it in our program.

baby Audacia hop plant
Audacia Summer Pale collaboration brew with Migration Brewing featuring Audacia hops

As sited in the above AP article, climate change continues to have an impact on hop crops around the globe and beloved German landrace varieties are becoming more difficult to source. As we have watched this change take place, our ‘Gasthaus’ hop is one that we continued to think about. Could this genotype provide a more earth-friendly and stable alternative in the new climate that confronts us?

This topic came up prior to this year’s hop harvest, while roaming through our experimental nursery with Von Ebert Brewing. Having won gold in 2022 for the German Pils category in the Best of Craft Beer Awards, they are very familiar with the prized German lager varieties and were excited to hear the story of Gasthaus and learn that it could potentially provide a home-grown option for their award-winning German Pils.

We decided to put Gasthaus to the test, and brew three batches of Von Ebert’s award winning German Pils, using different hop combos for each batch. These beers will be on tap at Beer Mongers for a blind tasting, and we’re calling all lager lovers to join us and provide input.

brewery photo
brewery photo

Experimental Hop Playground

Experience Von Ebert’s German Pils Three Ways

DECEMBER 14, 2023

/ Event begins at 5PM — The Beer Mongers

Join us at one of our favorite watering holes to experience Von Ebert’s Award-Winning German Pils three ways and provide feedback on each iteration.

Hops featured include: Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Hallertau Tradition and ‘Gasthaus’ (an Indie experimental).

Location::

The Beer Mongers:
2415 SE 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

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“We’ve already started addressing some of these variables in the breeding program, looking forward to future-proof our hops.”
Hop breeder Shaun Townsend discusses the important role that hop breeding plays in sustainable agriculture.

BREEDER SPOTLIGHT

Shaun Townsend

Ben Frankiln wrote: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” True words, and they apply to plant breeding! Shaun Townsend, the plant breeder and geneticist who heads up breeding efforts for Indie Hops, hopes to make a positive impact by breeding new genotypes that are better able to withstand the climate pressures of our changing climate. He’s already had an impact through some of the cultivars we’ve launched as new Indie Hops varieties.

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