Ah, the world of craft beer. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, something else comes along to blow your mind. I had heard rumors that Flying Fish was about to release a special “Sandy” brew to help raise funds for victims of the hurricane; but in true Jersey style, Gene Muller threw the beer world a curve ball by announcing that their latest special release,”Forever Unloved Sandy” , would be using an experimental dwarf hop (“ADHA 483”) which he claims has never been used in a beer before (though Lagunitas is following right on its heels with it’s Fillmore Fusion Ale).
“Dwarf hops” have been a new agricultural experiment to combat the difficulties associated with harvesting the traditionally tall vines; but it appears the aromatic properties have been tweaked in the process, and brewers are anticipating the expanded possibilities of new combinations of flavors and aromas never experienced before. F. U. Sandy has been described as a “hybrid wheat-pale ale”, but the twist will be the new blend of hops that will give it a tropical nose, reminiscent of mangoes and guavas. Muller says, “Every single aspect of this beer, from the man-hours spent brewing it to the hops used to season it to the kegs that will contain it, has been donated, so every cent brought in goes to Superstorm Sandy victims.” That even includes those special hops, donated by the American Dwarf Hop Association. But don’t look for it in a bottle any time soon: it’s available only exclusively on draught, throughout the New Jersey/ Philly region, starting in early February.