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Experimental Hop Playground

The talented crew at Von Ebert Brewing has subbed out the regular hop bill in their Gold-medal German Pils with one of our experimental genotypes. Can you taste the difference? Swing by The Beer Mongers on December 14th to put your lager-loving taste buds to the test.

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.

Recently, climate change has impacted hop crops around the globe and beloved German landrace varieties are becoming more difficult to source (see AP article below). 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 Silver at the Great American Beer Festival in 2022 and Gold at the World Beer Cup in 2023 for the German-style Pilsener category, 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).


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.


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.