Brewery Perspectives with C02 Hop Extract
For Tree House Brewing Company of Monson, MA, what began as a bootstrapped, 60 barrel-per-year, garage operation between friends has grown to a complete brewing and retail facility with capacity for 175,000 barrels per year.
Tree House has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing and most popular craft breweries by focusing on freshness, quality, and consistency. They subscribe to the idea that there are no bounds to having an intense curiosity of ingredients, and take pride producing a variety of innovative and rotational offerings for their customers.
Early on, Tree House Brewing began experimenting with CO2 Hop Extract in some of their hoppy beers. Co-founder Nate Lanier explains, “We have been using extract since 2013 when we found it could produce a smoother and more palatable bitterness. We like bitterness in our beers, and have found that extract produces a more consistent, predictable bitterness versus pellets which can degrade in unknown ways with age. We also aren’t afraid to use them later in the boil to give a bit of flavor in addition to that soft bitterness we crave.”
Today, one of Tree House’s most popular beers, Haze, utilizes Warrior® CO2Hop Extract. Described by Lanier as “one of our most intensely-hopped rotational beers, the use of extract gives a more rounded and pleasant bitterness in trials versus Warrior pellets.” In other beers, Tree House has found favor with variety-specific Chinook extract in flavor additions as “it definitely tastes more saturated/soft/round in the finished beer than pellets [and is] different and good in its own way!”
Lanier recommends extract to anyone looking to present beers with a softer bitterness and to anyone looking for ease of application and consistency in their process.
“I would suggest being very tuned into the process. For us there is a bit of trial and error. Try a certain concentration, make notes, and adjust in the future. Regarding ease of use, it’s much easier to weigh, handle, and store than leaf or pellet hops.”