Boston Beer Co. is about to do something very cool for people who love India pale ales. The brewery based in Jamaica Plain will release a 12-pack called Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed next month.
It's basically a single-hop series in a box.
Let me explain. Following on the heels of San Adams' popular Latitude 48 IPA, Sam Adams has decided to take apart the beer's hops formula and show us exactly what it's made of. Latitude 48 contains five varieties of hops -- Hallertau Mittelfrueh from Germany; East Kent Goldings from England; and Ahtanum, Simcoe, and Zeus, all from Washington state's Yakima Valley. (The beer's name refers to the 48th latitude line, where all these hops are grown.)
Each strain of hops carries different characteristics -- pine, citrus, and floral notes, for example, along with varying degrees of bittering power. With Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed we will be able to assess each individually. The 12-pack will contain two bottles of Latitude 48 and two bottles each of beers made with a single variety of the five hops. That means you could have a tasting with friends, pour a little of each beer into a bunch of glasses, and distinguish among the various hops.
Now, this is not a new idea. There are plenty of single-hop beers on the shelves, such as Founders Centennial and Weyerbacher Double Simcoe. The Danish brewer Mikkeller has an extensive line of single-hop beers, but they're not cheap. One 11.2-ounce bottle costs about $6. Sam Adams is about to make it affordable to have a single-hop tasting -- the Latitude 48 IPA Deconstructed 12-pack will retail for $13.99. It will start showing up on shelves in mid-May.