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Hops & Grain releases Greenhouse IPA in cans

Arianna Auber
aauber@statesman.com

For beer lovers, Hops & Grain’s just-released Greenhouse IPA, the fourth canned mainstay for the brewery, might be the perfect opportunity to learn more about the various types of hops that go into beers.

That’s because the 7.6 percent ABV brew, which the East Austin beer maker has produced on tap previously using more than 18 different recipes over the past couple years, is going to have different hops dry-hopped into it each month, while still keeping the recipe, packaging and name the same (not unlike Austin Beerworks’ seasonal Heavy Machinery series). So in 2014, there will be 12 versions of the Greenhouse IPA on store shelves and at the brewery’s taproom — and limited numbers of each version, with only 300 cases going out each month. Hops & Grain won’t reveal on the cans what hops were dry-hopped into the beer, so curious drinkers will have to either scan the QR code on each can with their phones or visit Hops & Grain’s website to discover the names of the mystery hops.

But brewery owner Josh Hare is willing to cop up to what went into the first round of the canned IPA, released on Monday, just 10 days after Hops & Grain opened a brand-new, much larger taproom to the public with altered hours.

“Our first release will showcase a fairly new hop variety called Mosaic, full of intense grapefruit, earth and just the right amount of dank,” Hare said in a press release. “We also blended in small amounts of Meridian and Nugget to help add some juiciness.”

Although it’s important for breweries to be consistent with their beer recipes, having different hops get dry-hopped into the Greenhouse IPA each month was an intentional experiment for Hops & Grain, which has always played around with beer styles using its 3 BBL Greenhouse pilot system (from which the IPA drew its name).

“Since we have a hard time deciding which one we like the best, we decided to create an IPA series that celebrates the wondrous contributions that different hop varieties provide,” Hare said, noting that the only change made to each new Greenhouse release is the type of hops added in to the brew after fermentation in a process called dry-hopping. But the change isn’t insignificant, as it makes the beer taste and smell different.

The Greenhouse IPA joins Hops & Grain’s three other year-round offerings, also all in cans: the Alt-eration German-style Altbier, the One They Call Zoe Pale Lager and the Pale Dog American Pale Ale. These other beers are going to be much easier to find in stores given that each grocery account won’t receive more than 10 cases of the IPA each month. But don’t worry — Hops & Grain is celebrating its debut multiple times in January with special tappings at various craft beer spots around town. Here’s the schedule:

• 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

• 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17 at Draught House Pub & Brewery

• 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 at Hopfields

• 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 at Pinthouse Pizza

• 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24 at Craft Pride

• 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 at Wright Bros. Brew & Brew