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Distillers Mad For New Hops Flavoring Trend

on 28/01/15 at 12:33 pm


indexA new flavor is brewing in the world of craft liquors as distillers borrow from the beer world and add hops for an aromatic twist.

Recent products include hopped whiskies such as R5 from Charbay Artisan Distillery & Winery in the Napa Valley and Hopmonster from the Corsair Distillery with operations in Tennessee and Kentucky. Other examples include Hatter Royale from New Holland Brewing Co. in Michigan and Hopskey from Square One Brewery in St. Louis. In the non-whiskey category there’s Hophead Vodka from Anchor Distilling Co. in San Francisco and a hopped gin from the New York Distilling Co. Beyond the hard stuff, there’s even a half-dozen or so hopped hard ciders.

The move, says H. Joseph Ehrmann, who carries several of the hop-flavored liquors at his Elixir bar in San Francisco, is inspired by the desire to stand out. “They’re up against the big boys, the big brands and they’re trying to make something that’s going to compete and be unique so that people aren’t looking at them as another bourbon or another American single malt.”

It also tracks the boom in India pale ales — the hoppy beers beloved by craft beer enthusiasts — as well as the quest for innovative cocktails.