Dry hopping is a term most commonly associated with IPAs. It’s the practice of adding hops during fermentation to develop an intense hop-forward aroma. Boiling hops evaporates much of the oils that contribute to flavor and aroma and leaves behind the bitterness. The later in the boil the hops are added, the more flavor and aroma sticks around. By adding hops during fermentation, after the boil, the volatile oils are not driven off and aroma is added without upping the bitterness.
While dry-hopped IPAs are common, it’s not unheard of to see the practice used in other styles. Odd Side Ales does it with Chillindamos, a dry hopped lager. There’s very little info on the bottle, or even the web site, about the beer, other than that it is a lager and it is dry hopped. Putting those two together, I assumed it was likely an IPL, the bottom fermenting brother of the IPA.
As soon as I poured Chillindamos, I knew that was not the case. The aroma rocketed out of the glass and could be clearly picked up without getting my nose close to the rim. This wasn’t the grapefruit bomb I expected, so common of anything labeled “dry hopped”; instead it had a very pilsner-like spicy and floral hoppiness. Getting closer to the clear golden beer and its fluffy white head, I did pick up just a hint of citrus and some light malt character.
Just because a beer is dry hopped does not mean it will have an intensely hoppy flavor. Dry hopping almost exclusively affects the aroma. Thus Chillindamos is much more malt forward on the taste, a touch sweet with a solid backing of spicy, floral Saaz-like hops. It falls somewhere between a pale lager and a pilsner, more hoppy than the former and less so than the latter.
To the customer picking it up off the shelf without any previous knowledge, Chillindamos is a touch deceptive. Not as hoppy, or even featuring the same hop flavors, as most would anticipate, it takes a minute to adjust. Still it’s a solid summer beer that’s crisp and refreshing with an enticing aroma.
Bottling Date?: Yes! Printed vertically on the label in a bottled on mm/dd/yy format.
Every bottle or can of beer should have a bottling date on it to ensure the customer is drinking fresh beer. Sadly many do not. Those are beers that, in most cases, I will not be drinking. I’m not wasting my money on beer that’s possibly lost all hop character or has oxidized to a nice cardboard taste. I’ll be including bottling date info, including how to decipher some of them, on all posts now. Breweries, put bottling dates on your beer!