Our third IPA was brewed to celebrate the first bloom of spring in Seattle. Floral and pine, the Bloom combines Chinook and Citra for a distinctly spring-like flavor. We used Chinook for bittering in this beer. Chinook is one of those high alpha hops known to impart more of a harsh, lingering bitterness, and is pretty different from our typical go-to bittering hop, Horizon. Horizon produces a strong, clean bitterness that we really like, but we'd had some criticism that our IPAs weren't bitter enough. The Bloom is our attempt to amend that.
We hope that by using one of these older, harsher hops, the perceived bitterness will increase. The choice to use Chinook to dry hop as well was really just for kicks. We have experience using both Chinook and Citra for dry hopping separately, and I liked the results from both. However, they were used in very different beers, and the choice to use them together here was a pretty big risk. Without further ado, here is the recipe.
We forgot to make a starter, and ended up just pitching two packets of yeast. It worked out fine, but it was an extra $7. The beer itself though is just awesome.
It opens with citrus, fading into pine and resin. The finish grows more bitter with each sip. What starts as a fairly dry, fruity beer quickly becomes fiercely bitter as the lingering bitterness of the Chinook builds over time. The dry hopped character is an intense blend of fruity and pine flavors, with citrus winning out. The resulting flavor strongly mimics the fresh bloom of spring. It's almost like rolling around in a garden on a bed of pine needles.