05 July 2016
(ST. LOUIS, MO July 5, 2016)—Schlafly Beer introduces the Hop Trial SMaSH Pack, an experimental new variety pack featuring four distinct hops, to launch today. This box offers beers featuring four different experimental hop varieties across the flavor spectrum with three bottles of each: Hallertau Blanc (floral), Bramling Cross (spicy), Enigma (fruity), and Eureka! (piney).
The Hop Trial pack features four SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beers, which bring out the individual qualities of each ingredient, making the profile of the featured hop variety the true focus. For the first installment of the Hop Trial pack, the Schlafly team utilized well-known, established hops to introduce the concept of how to isolate a single varietal to the everyday beer consumer. In years to come, the team may explore more experimental hops from the brewery’s Hop Trial program (see more below).
“In our 2 brewpub locations, we talk to consumers & educate them on the different flavor profiles of our beers,” says Ambassador Brewer Stephen Hale. “With the Hop Trial variety pack, they can conduct a tasting of the 4 Hop Trial beers in their own home, and our packaging gives them the tasting notes to decifer the differences.”
The Hop Trial program originated at the brewery’s Tap Room and Bottleworks locations. Due to Schlafly’s long-standing, close relationships, hop farmers have long approached the brewery to test out hops that will soon be introduced to market. Schlafly offering feedback to the hop farmers on flavor and aromatic profiles, as well as viability in finished products. Hale adds, “Many of these hops are still in the early stages, on very small plots, some without trade names. We’re able to trial these very specific hops, some where we have selected them from the field, for the brewers to evaluate.”
Last fall, the Schlafly team started soliciting consumer feedback on the Hop Trial hops. Every month, a different SMaSH Hop Trial beer is introduced on-draft at the brewpub locations, and consumers share their tasting notes on the Hop Trial Boards. This year’s Hop Trial beers have included varieties such as Michigan Cascade, 07270, a Steiner hop, HBC 291 from Yakima, WA, and more. After brewer and consumer feedback, these SMaSH beers have the potential to make next year’s variety pack. This past year, Schlafly has used 102 different hops within their portfolio.
Additionally, the Hop Trial SMaSH Pack helps promote Schlafly’s Hop in the City event, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 17, noon-5 p.m. This annual event features more than 40 Schlafly beers, food, and live music; tickets go on sale Aug. 1. This is not the first time Schlafly has used off-premises packaging to promote one of its events; the brewery also released Walking Tree Wheat in conjunction with Art Outside this spring.
The Hop Trial variety pack can be purchased at the Bottleworks or Tap Room locations as well as across Schlafly’s distribution area ($13.99 suggested retail). For more on Schlafly Beer’s distribution and products, visit www.schlafly.com/beers/distribution.