Pioneering future trends in the hops industry with True Essence Flavor Symmetry.
The craft beer and brewing industry continues to grow at a pace never seen before in the United States. With nearly 10,000 breweries competing for consumer attention and loyalty, what is the next swing that will make a beer and brewery stand out? How does a brewery test the limits of science innovation while making a positive impact on food sustainability?
Together, with partners like Crazy Horse Hops, True Essence is working to help answer these questions.
Crazy Horse Hops is a progressive grower and processor of hops. Over the years, they have honed their scientific applications and processes while adapting to the needs of their clients both domestically and internationally. A field-to-brewery facility, they have emerged as a driver of new trends that have helped improve their bottom line and the flavor of their products, while also minimizing waste. Their ability to think outside of the box and into the future of craft beer has allowed them to stand out in a very niche market.
One of the foremost challenges within the craft beer industry is adaptation. For many years the focus in the beer industry was bittering hops. The industry then shifted to aroma hops, pushing brewers to look at new hop profiles and varieties. However, consumer demand drives the hop industry and pivoting to the latest trends isn’t easy. On average, it takes three years for hop plants to mature and produce the high yields necessary for a profitable production.
This is where the partnership with True Essence and Crazy Horse Hops embarked.
In 2021, True Essence partnered with Crazy Horse Hops on a sample harvest of Cascade hops to test the theory of creating a dried, wet hop product with True Essence proprietary Flavor Symmetry technology. Once True Essence dried the wet hops, Crazy Horse Hops steeped the hops in a finished beer simulating the dry hopping method and the results were remarkable. The beer’s aroma and taste mimicked those of a beer brewed with fresh wet hops. With True Essence Flavor Symmetry technology, Crazy Horse Hops successfully created a dried, shelf-stable wet hop product, innovating on a crop that typically has an extremely small window for harvest, while maintaining the fresh flavor, keeping the integrity of the intense hop aroma.
“When a swing in the industry happens, hop growers are usually are trying to play catch up with demand. Therefore, I believe the biggest challenge (for hop growers) is staying ahead of the trend(s)---or possibly even trying to drive the trend,” says Heather Hammer, marketing and communications for Crazy Horse Hops.
Crazy Horse Hops CEO Ryan Hammer believes this innovative process will allow fresh hop flavors to be experienced year-round and will give their customers flexibility in how and when they use them. For 2022, Crazy Horse Hops has committed 5,000 pounds of wet hops to be processed with True Essence Flavor Symmetry technology during the August harvest. Once these wet hops are dried, the Crazy Horse Hops team will distribute to multiple brewers around the country looking to embrace new food science and technology trends and methods. Crazy Horse Hops is confident once this harvest is processed and brewers receive this new product, there will be wide acceptance and excitement for how this will positively impact the industry.
“If you can do something as naturally as possible and make your product better, those are key elements most businesses are looking for to be successful,” says Ryan Hammer.
Harvesting, processing, storing and shipping hops normally has a plethora of stumbling blocks due to various challenges that arise. With inflation and rising costs of everything from cans and bottles, shipping, storage and employees, the industry must take a harder look at how to make effective change within its many business models. True Essence’s technology provides the ability for hop growers and brewers to plan out their product line, create and launch new products, save on cold chain costs, eliminate waste due to expired or mishandled wet hops and lower shipping costs. Additionally, the ability to preserve the intensity of the flavor profile with this technology allows brewers to use less hops in their product while positively impacting all of the above, creating a golden opportunity.
“If we are not trying to find the next thing, we are dying” If you want your organization to grow you have to look to the future, think outside of the box and do things
better,” says Ryan Hammer.
Learn more about the ways True Essence Flavor Symmetry is moving the hop industry forward.