EXPERIMENTAL, MAD HOPS, R&D
At Fort George, we are always attempting to evolve. We do constant research (tasting new beers) and like to try new things (send us more beer). Beta IPA is a small batch series that allows the brewers to test new techniques, recipes, and ingredients. These test batches help hone recipes, and quite often become new canned seasonals.
With each update, let us know what you think. Beta IPA testers are always needed.
BETA IPA 29
The Beta 29s will all be test batches for 2022 Farmers IPA. This fall seasonal is always a collaboration with Northwest farms that supply us with those amazing ingredients. This year the brewery is using specific lots of hops from Indie Farms and a custom malt from Skagit Valley. The final beer will be out in 16oz cans and draft by late August/start of September.
BETA 29 – an approachable West Coast style IPA with hop notes of passionfruit, berry, and candy orange. Very aromatic, not too dry, with a smooth & soft bitterness. Pale gold with a light haze, juicy aroma, lightly sweet with mandarin and grapefruit flavors. Hops: Indie Chinook, Indie Strata Malts: Superior Pilsner, Skagit Valley Wheat, Weyermann Acidulated – 6.9% ABV
BETA IPA 28 & Beta hazy ipa 28
For Beta 28s, the brewers are trying out a West Coast and a New England style IPA. Both are test batches for 3-Way IPA 2022 with Ravenna Brewing out of Seattle, WA and Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey, CA. They selected lots of Strata hops and sent them to Oast House Oils in Colorado for hop oil extraction. They also tried out experimental hop HBC 586, designed to have fruit salad characteristics filled with tropical fruit, citrus, and berries. Six test batches were brewed.
BETA IPA 28 – A West Coast style IPA brewed with Safale-05 American Ale Yeast. They also used Beta-glucosidase, an enzyme that turns hop glycoside into water & glucose molecules and helps more fully ferment the hop sugars, boosting aroma. Hops: Strata, Chinook, Nelson, Amarillo, HBC 586 – 8.5% ABV
BETA HAZY IPA 28.1 – Brewed at the same time as 28, this is a New England style IPA fermented with Juice yeast. Hops: Strata, Amarillo, HBC 586, Nelson, Chinook – 7.2% ABV
BETA IPA 28.2 – For this West Coast IPA test batch they increased the Nelson hops and added a dry-hopping step – 7.5% ABV
BETA HAZY IPA 28.3 – Strata hops were increased, as were the HBC 586 hops. They lowered the Nelson & Amarillo on the dry-hop and added a 2nd addition on the hot side – 6.4% ABV
BETA IPA 28.4 – Removed the HBC 586 and Amarillo hops, added Simcoes – 7.8% ABV
BETA HAZY IPA 28.5 – Removed Amarillo hops and added Chinook hops – 7.5% ABV
BETA IPA 27
Something to look forward to while you enjoy a taste now: Beta IPA 27 will be test batches for Fanzine IPA (2022), a collaboration with Block 15 Brewing (Corvallis, OR). Brewers from both locations met up at Crosby Hop Farm to hand-select the hops going into this spring’s West Coast IPA seasonal. They landed on select Comet & Idaho 7 lots to pair with a few Mosaic hops we had on hand.
BETA IPA 26
This Beta IPA batch is an archetypal hazy IPA, full of tropical and citrus fruit flavors. Packed with a mix of classic and modern hops, creating a full spectrum profile from grapefruit, to coconut, to pineapple, and even some pine. Smooth and balanced.
Beta IPA 26 is brewed with Amarillo, Cashmere, Chinook, and Talus hops. This is the test batch for Magnetic Fields 2021/2022, the winter seasonal 16oz can.
BETA IPA 25
Roy Farms out of Yakima grows a lot of delicious hops. And this year, they’ll be supplying the hops for Farmers’ Annuary, the fall seasonal. Andy from Roy Farms and Michal & Brian from Fort George worked together to come up with a hop bill that fits that familiar West Coast style, but with a few tricks that might make you think it’s a New England-style IPA.
This batch was brewed with Azacca, Chinook, Columbus, and Bravo hops.
BETA IPA 24
Every summer Fort George teams up with two great breweries for 3-Way IPA. This year is no exception. Varietal (Sunnyside, WA) and Moonraker (Auburn, CA) make some fantastic beers. And they helped us dream up this year’s recipe, utilizing locally malted grains from Linc, Mecca Grade, and Great Western, and an exciting new hop variety from New Zealand called Nectaron. Look for these test batches throughout the winter & spring.
We brewed two batches to start. Beta IPA 24 is heavier on the Strata dry hop. Beta IPA 24.1 uses predominantly Nectaron in the dry hop.
BETA IPA 23
This test batch is for the spring 2021 seasonal, a collaboration with Great Notion (Portland, OR). You’ll see the final version around the Pacific Northwest as Fanzine IPA (2021). Beta IPA 23 is a West Coast IPA with Citra, El Dorado, Strata, and Columbus hops.
BETA IPA 22
Beta IPA 22 is a test batch for the 2020-2021 winter seasonal, Magnetic Fields. Look for the final version to be released by December 2020. This batch used Citra, Strata, and Motueka hops.
BETA IPA 21
This Beta IPA is a test batch for the fall seasonal, a collaboration with Crosby Hop Farm. It was brewed with very specific lots of Centennial & Amarillo hops, hand selected by Crosby. (Bonus Info: Crosby has a pair of llamas that roam free at their farm, named Fort & George. You might see a llama on the fall seasonal label)
BETA IPA 20
Beta 20s are all test batches for the summer 3-Way IPA (2020), a collaboration with Structures Brewing (Bellingham, WA) and Level Beer (Portland, OR). There will be changes, many subtle, with each brew.
20.0 – Brewed with Hazy Daze yeast
20.1 – Brewed with Loki yeast
20.2 – Brewed with BSI-A18 or London III yeast
BETA IPA 19
Beta 19s are test batches for the spring seasonal collaboration with Grains of Wrath, which will be called Fanzine IPA. Owner/Head Brewer Mike Hunsaker from GOW and Michal Frankowicz from Fort George have been talking for years about their love of traditional West Coast IPAs. And with these test batches, they are attempting to brew what they believe to be the best West Coast IPA on the West Coast.
BETA IPA 18
The Beta 18s are all test batches for 3-Way IPA (2019) collaboration with Ruse Brewing (Portland, OR) and Cloudburst Brewing (Seattle, WA). Although this beer is hazy, it is not brewed to be a New England style IPA. This is an unfiltered American IPA with a drier, crisper finish and more pronounced bitterness.
18 – Brewed with Golden Promise malt
18.1 – Swap Golden Promise for Maris Otter, drop pH of wort after boil
18.2 – Remove Golden Promise/Maris Otter, add more Pilsner
18.3 – Citra dominant
18.4 – Still Citra dominant, but more Idaho 7 added. Cut flaked wheat.
18.5 – Idaho 7 dominant in the dry hop.
18.6 – Cashmere dominant. Add Strata to dry hop. Cut the Wickiup amounts.
18.7 – Shorter dry-hopping times.
BETA IPA 17
Beta 17 is a test batch for an entry into the Great American Beer Festival for 2018. It’s a fresh take on a previous GABF entry called Operation: Cannot Possibly Fail. With this test batch the brewers are trying out double dry-hopping and adding Simcoe, Citra, and Mosaic additions. They are also experimenting with brewing salts, to drive the sulfate:chlorine ratios more towards the sulfates. This should help accentuate the hop character and bitterness.
BETA IPA 16.0
The Beta IPA 16s are test batches for 3-Way IPA (2018), a collaboration with Modern Times (San Diego, CA) and Holy Mountain (Seattle, WA). The first three batches were all tapped in February 2018. Once again, the yeast is the focus on this year’s 3-Way IPA recipe, although the brewers are experimenting with new techniques and a few new hop varietals. They’ll be brewing Beta IPA 16s through early April 2018, before making any final decisions. Make sure to sample as many as you can and leave your feedback. The collaboration moves to the Little Miss Texas system in the Lovell Brewery for the summer.
BETA IPA 15.0
This was the test batch for City of Dreams. While it is labeled a Pale Ale on the can, this pillowy concoction is as hoppy as any IPA. There is no Beta Pale Ale series at Fort George.
BETA IPA 14.0
Playing around with old school and new school hop flavors to make a solid, hearty IPA. Malt backbone and citrusy, piney aromas in a straight-forward riff on a Northwest IPA.
BETA IPA 13.0
Strong and full of Chinook, Citra, Mosaic, and Amarillo hops, the Beta IPA 13s used a few “secret ingredients” and “proprietary techniques.” Other than that, there’s not much more information. The brewer’s lips were sealed. These kegs were available in Summer 2017.
BETA IPA 12.0
The yeast was the focus in this Beta test batch. At least eight small batch brews were done from November 2016 to April 2017, as the three breweries in the 3-Way IPA (2017) collaboration dialed in the perfect recipe. Several types of New England-style yeasts were used. The hops – Azacca, X-331, Mosaic, and Citra – remained the constant. Subtle changes to the malt bill were also made, depending on the yeast variety.
Brewer-Owners from both Rueben’s Brews and Great Notion brought their house yeasts out and helped with several of the Betas. As the first “hazy” IPA Fort George had attempted in the 3-Way IPA series, everyone wanted to make sure the beer came out just as they envisioned it.
BETA IPA 11.0
This Beta series is to test hopping techniques and varieties. The malt bill is kept non-intrusive to let the hops shine. Some techniques will help with wort yield, and will ideally help with flavor and aroma. Ingredients may change on this beer, but the flavor profile will be balanced, dry, citrusy, and overflowing with aroma.
Beta 11- Control Batch
Beta 11.1- Hop extracts used in the boil, lowered the bitterness
BeTA IPA 10.0
Beta IPA 9.0
Session-style IPA brewed with Nugget, Meridian, Cascade, and Centennial hops. The malt bill consists of Organic 2-row, Full Pint, and C15. This one utilized our house ale yeast.
Beta IPA 8.0 & 8.1
Pale, dry, aromatic and hoppy, Beta IPA 8’s are test batches for 3-Way IPA 2015 – a Fort George collaboration with Georgetown Brewing Co. and Pfriem Family Brewers. 8.1 – EQUINOX HOPS
Beta IPA 7.0
Floral and citrusy, Beta IPA 7.0 is the test batch for Overdub IPA, a collaboration with Tape Op – the creative music recording magazine. You can find out more about the magazine at www.tapeop.com
Beta IPA 6.3
This is an experimental American-style hop forward IPA. This beer showcases the hops with a light body featuring Carapils malt, at around 9% of the grain bill. The Carapils malt adds simple sugars without affecting the flavor profile, as well as giving good head retention and a little something to the body. This is a crisp dry beer that gives you plenty of citrus notes, and earthy hop undertones as well. Small first hop additions and larger later additions in the beer allow for more hop flavor without over the top bitterness.
Beta IPA 6.1 & 6.2
Beta IPA 6.1 & 6.2 were single-hopped IPAs brewed within a few weeks of each other. The recipes were the same, except for the hop. Beta IPA 6.1 uses the new Equinox hops from Hop Breeding Co. – Beta IPA 6.2 a slightly more established Simcoe hop, released in 2000 by Yakima Chief Ranches. These are test batches for Fort George’s fall seasonal, a 16oz canned fresh hop beer. Try them both and let us know what you think. Equinox Hops – A pronounced aroma profile with citrus, tropical fruit, floral and herbal characteristics. Specific descriptors include lemon, lime, papaya, apple, and green pepper. Simcoe Hops – Unique passionfruit, pine, earth and citrus characteristics. Known as a bittering hop with a good aroma.
Beta IPA 5.1
This beer showcases the hops through a light body with a little addition of flaked corn at around 7% of the grain bill. The flaked corn as an adjunct adds simple sugars without affecting the flavor profile. This is a crisp dry beer that gives you plenty of citrus notes with some earthy hop undertones as well. Drink and enjoy. With the addition of what is known as brewing salts we adjusted the water chemistry to allow for more hop flavor without the over the top bitterness.
Beta IPA 5.0
This beer showcases the hops through a light body with a little addition of flaked corn at around 7% of the grain bill. The flaked corn as an adjunct adds simple sugars without affecting the flavor profile. This is a crisp dry beer that gives you plenty of citrus notes with some earthy hop undertones as well. Drink and enjoy.
Beta IPA 4.1
This beer show cases the hops through a light body with a little addition of oatmeal. At around 15% of the grain bill it livens up the back for the presentation of the hops. Showcasing the Mosaic and there is a side light on the Citras. This has eliminated some of the bitter notes and helps focus on the citrusy notes, which makes this the perfect session beer to enjoy.
Beta IPA 4.0
This is an experimental American-style session IPA. This beer show cases the hops through a light body with a little addition of oatmeal. At around 15% of the grain bill it livens up the back for the presentation of the hops which makes this the perfect session beer to enjoy.
Beta IPA 3.1
This is an experimental American-style black IPA. This black beauty of an IPA is made with Carafa 3 which is a low bittering black barley. In this addition of our beta series we changed out the types of hops used. Now coupled with the Chinook and Centennial hops it is meant to deceive your eyes but not the pallet.
Beta IPA 3.0
For this batch of Beta, we decided to go black. We took Carafa III and added it to our malt bill. This particular black malt is super mellow; it doesn’t have that over the top roaster bitterness that you find dominant in most black barleys. So now we have an easy drinking, black, hoppy IPA for your drinking pleasure.
Beta IPA 2.3
For this batch of Beta, we aimed for a more flocculent ale yeast to brighten up our already tasty and beautiful IPA. we did go back to the 6.5% ABV. It seems to be a nice average for an IPA. We also found with this yeast strain, the hops seem to pop a little more.
Beta IPA 2.2
For this batch of Beta 2.2 we kept with the idea of adding a bit of the Fort George’s house Belgian yeast, bringing out a nice fruity balance to this deliciously hoppy IPA. By lowering the alcohol content, the fruit zests of both the yeast and the addition of Meridian hops were emphasized.
Beta IPA 2.1
For Beta 2.1 we blended NW ale yeast with a dash of Belgian ale yeast just to see how the bittering hops would react. It gave the beer a fruity zest and added a different layer to the taste. All of the other ingredients remained the same. The Beta 2.1 retains that lovely golden hue and wonderful aroma.
Beta IPA 2.0
Beta 2.0 brings about major changes. For this beer, we dropped the ABV down to 6.5%. Bringing the alcohol content down, we pulled back on our darker malts resulting in a more transparent golden gleam through the glass. These changes make the hop flavor cut through the beer in a big way. Same ingredients. Different beer.
Beta IPA 1.3
In this version the brewers again aimed for clarity and this time hit the mark. The clarity of the beta 1.3 was achieved by not completely dropping the temperature of the beer in the fermenter before pulling the yeast and adding our hops. This helps ensure all the hop particles as well as yeast will fully drop out of suspension before the final transfer.
Beta IPA 1.2
In this version the brewers aimed for clarity, rough aim. Here’s the tech: They lowered the mash temperature and sparge temperature. They also extended the vorlouf time allowing more starches to stay in the grain and maintain clearer wort. They also forgot to make a version 1.1.
Beta IPA 1.0
This is the first, the original, Beta. Each one that follows will be roughly based on the initial batch 1.0. This beer is much lighter in color and malt than our Vortex IPA, and involves a new method of dry hopping. This process involves transferring the beer into a secondary fermenter already chock full of hops. Over the next two days, the brewers slowly release CO2 into the vessel to mix the hops throughout the beer.