October 7, 2021

BAD Hopping IPA from Chalutz Chadash: Not BAD at all!

Barrel Aged Dry Hopping IPA
from Chalutz Chadash and
Holy Dram, made at the 
Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem.

(Photo: Shay Koriat)

It's not often that we hear about a beer brewed and conditioned in a new and unique fashion.  After all, what can you do that's so different from what craft brewers have been doing for 50 years?

Well, here's an Israeli first:  Gilad Ne-Eman of Chalutz Chadash ("New Pioneer") has produced an IPA which was fermented and dry-hopped while in ex-bourbon barrels.  

"Fermenting beer in oak barrels is not new," Gilad told me.  "But doing the dry-hopping in the barrels is."

The beer is called Barrel Aged Dry Hopping, or BAD Hopping for short.  It was made in cooperation with the Holy Dram whisky-appreciation group, and brewed at the Hatch Brewery in Jerusalem.

"The beer was first fermented and hopped in regular fermenters for four-five days," Gilad continued, "and then it was transferred to ex-bourbon barrels from the Milk & Honey Distillery in Tel Aviv, where it was dry-hopped with Citra and Centennial hops for 18 more days.  Only 200 liters were made."

How did BAD Hopping emerge from those barrels?  

Well, I saw a beautifully semi-clear, mid-amber color with reddish highlights.  I inhaled aromas of pine and citrus, and I tasted complex flavors of citrus and other fruits, leather and vanilla, all in a bittersweet envelope.  The body is full and the finish is long.  It is delicious.  I admit that I did not get any oak taste from the barrel, but perhaps it added the vanilla and leather, as well as the overall complexity.  

Although BAD Hopping is a strong beer (7.1% alcohol), it is not too heavy to enjoy with food. 

The brewers took a chance with this beer and achieved success.  Dry-hopping in whisky barrels seems like an innovation that's going to remain with us, "a keeper."  Maybe in this case, brewers in other countries will take their cue from Israel!                    

1 comment:

Thanks for your comment. L'chayim!