The idea for Pow Pow (our newest beer) was born when 2 very passionate beer nerds joined forces during the epic 2016 beer festival Beer Camp Across America. Devil’s Backbone, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Stoudt’s, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and Trillium collaborated to create one of the festival’s signature beer Pat-Rye-Ot, a pale ale that pays tribute to America’s original home brewers. During the process two brewers in particular were fascinated by a new hop product that was used in Pat-Rye-Ot. The product: lupulin powder. The fascinated brewers: Sean Lawson and JC Tetreault.
“When we first opened the Lupulin powder bag, the aroma was so powerful” recalls JC. “Sean and I looked at each other because we were both thinking the same thing: we have to get our hands on more of this stuff.” They both decided right then & there that they’d collaborate on a Lupulin powder focused brew.
Lupulin powder is essentially a super concentrated hop product made by flash freezing and then shattering intact hop flowers. It’s powerful stuff, and for a brewer it’s a new frontier of possibilities and a whole lot of experimentation for how to use it most effectively. “The process of using Lupulin powder is quite different,” explains JC. “Before you even add it to the whirlpool, you have to massage it to break down the clumps.” Initially in test runs, the powder kept clumping when added to the whirlpool. The team experimented with different ways of utilizing the lupulin powder in both the whirlpool and during the dry hop, taking into account beer and wort temperatures, contact time, lupulin powder temperatures, and consistency of the powder.
Sean visited our Canton brewery in early November to brew Pow Pow. The pair spent all afternoon swapping brew tips, bonding over the challenges of owning a rapidly growing business, and nerding out about lupulin powder and what it could mean for the future of the industry.
We have a feeling Pow Pow will be just the beginning. And what a powerful beginning it has been: a growing friendship, an awesome new beer, and a ton of new ideas that we can't wait to put into action.