Double Dry-Hopped Coastal Evacuation
Variations on a theme.
This is a concept that’s as old, at least, as music itself. Handel, Rachmaninoff, Copland, and just about everyone else has done it. Mozart wrote twelve variations on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” They take a melody — “Twinkle, Twinkle” is 48, relatively repetitive bars — and they play around with it. The basic thematic material is still there, but really only recognizable if you know what you’re looking for.
We do the same thing in brewing. We’ll take a well-known beer, add some stuff to it, and it’ll be new and interesting and much more exciting than the original brew.
And, since Coastal Evacuation is music to our ears, for our next limited can release, we’re double dry-hopping it with Galaxy and Mosaic, releasing from the Brewtique on Saturday at 11am.
“They’ve always come out fantastic and people get really excited for them,” says Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm, “so we thought it’d be great to do a limited quantity with some of our favorite — but less frequently available — hop varieties.”
Galaxy has been harder to come by these days. It’s a killer hop so everyone wants it, but it definitely takes time for hop farmers to keep up with demand. With the brewery industry booming, hops farmers have no idea how much of an individual hop they’ll be able to sell. We contract what we think we’ll need before the season begins, but, even then, we don’t even know how much we’ll really use.
If a variety of hops, like Galaxy, begins a run in popularity, it becomes harder — and more expensive — to come by. Galaxy has been around for awhile but started to gain popularity a few years ago. Now, everyone wants Galaxy — so it’s nearly impossible to find.
So, in order to get the flavors we wanted, we’ve had to keep this limited edition release very limited.
“Either way, it’s still very much the Coastal we all know and love, just better,” says Head Brewer Brian Hink.
We love Coastal. You love Coastal. It’s a great beer on its own. Yet, even great things can be improved upon — one of our Core Values is “Make It Better,” and we have. Playing around with the known unknowns is part of what makes brewing fun.
“We were working within the confines of our flagship DIPA,” Brian says, “so I wanted to make sure the end result stayed true enough to that brand, and yet different enough to justify the limited release nature. I love Coastal as it is, and it functions perfectly as our full-time offering, flagship, dependable, always-there, core-brand DIPA, but if it were a limited run release — there are things I would absolutely change to reflect that limited run nature.”
Coastal, in its original incarnation, has a beautiful balance — Centennial harmonizing with Citra and Simcoe and Apollo. But… variations on a theme.
“It’s always a good time experimenting with and tweaking recipes, switching up hops in particular,” Jimmy says. “There’s such a wide variety these days. Adding Galaxy and Mosaic on the original Coastal takes it veering into a juicer direction.”
Brian is loving the way these hops play off one another.
“The touch of Apollo in there gives a nice dank undertone,” Brian says, “and Mosaic definitely can go dank in the right circumstances, so they played very nicely off each other. The fruitier grapefruit and passionfruit notes of Simcoe come out on the normal dry-hopping because the Citra helps pull it in that direction — as opposed to the often described ‘cat-pee’ aroma Simcoe can elicit, and that fruitiness is further enhanced by Galaxy’s lovely super peachy aroma. The Centennial — which has always been Coastal’s main focus hop — ties the whole thing together. Centennial has a soft lemony citrus note to it, but can offer a resinous quality as well, and those aromas pair very nicely with everything else going on.”
The guys definitely enjoy creating these variations. They have fun dry-hopping, and they love to see what comes out of the process.
“I’ve always found dry hopping to be fun,” says Brewer Mark Graves. “There are so many different varieties of hops, it’s like spices in a kitchen. You’d think that after a while, when faced with similar dry hops or even on similar beers, that it would get old or bland, but it really doesn’t. The results surprise me all the time.”
Brewer Eddie Siciliano agrees.
“It’s interesting to see how the different varieties of hops pair together,” he says. “Like Brian said, sometimes combinations will intensify certain flavors in hops that you might not notice on their own. So, adding additional varieties of hops to a beer’s dry hop is a great way to smell the aromatics that the new hop provides.”
This is one that they’ve certainly had fun with.
“So, it was fun to treat it like the same Coastal we know and love,” Brian says, “held to the confines of a full-time offering, flagship, dependable, always-there, core-brand DIPA, and yet bring in some of those tricks we’ve learned with the White Caps and Gulls of the world.”
We’re all really looking forward to this beer. As a one-off, it always does extraordinarily well, and we’re stupid-excited to bring it up to a full batch, limited though it may be.
“I love that we finally did it as a full sized batch!” Brian says. “We’ve done this a number of times as One-Offs, and that keg always goes quickly, so I’m excited to see the reaction this one gets as a limited run can release.”
Jimmy loves the powerful hops aroma.
“It’s still got that balance, and I’m all about that,” he says. “It packs a wallop without being tongue-strikingly green.”
Mark is looking forward to it, too.
“Coastal is a great beer,” he says, “and to use that as a canvas for the added flavors of Mosaic and Galaxy, it has created something truly exciting. It’ll go great with a with a nice steak or a hearty paella and a beautiful day.”
Eddie is “super pumped” about DDH Coastal.
“The addition of Galaxy and Mosaic will make Coastal Evacuation even more aromatic,” he says. “Galaxy is one of my favorite hops, and I get a lot of orange sherbet and lime from some crops. I’ll probably drink my fair share of DDH Coastal on the beach this summer.”
This really is the perfect time of year for this brew. It’s practically begging for sunshine and warm beach breezes.
“It’s really a great summery DIPA,” Jimmy says, “perfect for these warmer days.”
This release won’t be around for long. Our last limited-edition can release didn’t make it through the weekend, and odds are that this one might not even last throughout the day on Saturday.
Be at the Brewtique at 11am, Saturday June 16th. See you there!