Hoppy Vinegar – the New Garlic?

I saw something this weekend that I couldn’t believe: customers were passing up our garlic infusion for citra hops. So, why is this a big deal? Well, our garlic is so good and so popular, when we didn’t have it last weekend we had to take reservations just so customers could get their hands on a bottle when it became available. This weekend some of those customers passed up the garlic infusion for the bright, floral taste of citra hops. Yeah, it’s that good.

What’s Hops?

According to Wikiedia: Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant Humulus lupulus.[1] They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart bitter, zesty, or citric flavors;[2] though they are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.

We can now add raw apple cider vinegar to that list.

Pictured on the right is a bisected hop cone pulled from our infusion during bottling. It looks pretty weird and a little funky, just like the taste it imparts to our raw, organic apple cider vinegar. This particular hop variety, Citra, is a popular ingredient in “juicy” India Pale Ales (IPA). Citra adds notes of grapefruit, guava and melon and a significant amount of bitterness to your average IPA. When you add it to apple cider vinegar, on the other hand, the vinegar pulls out huge bouquets of flowers. One customer asked if there was rose in it. Another said it “tasted like summer.” It is a completely unique experience, and one that is becoming surprisingly popular. We have limited availability this weekend, but we started fresh batches of Citra and Mosaic (another citrusy variety) which will be ready in a couple weeks.

It’s going to be a beautiful day, so get out to Renninger’s Kutztown Farmers Market and Flea Market to try some dry-hopped apple cider vinegar. We’ll throw in the ‘Mother’ for free!

 

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