Beer StylesPendulum Strata: A Single-Hopped Journey

April 24, 2024by Eight

We have just brewed another edition of our Pendulum series, where we try to celebrate the intricacies of hops we love, one variety at a time. Our pendulum series is designed to spotlight the unique elements of each of the hops in the series making sure we provide the pure, unadulterated experience of the flavour and aroma profile from each hop.

On this occasion we would like to introduce “Pendulum Strata” this meticulas beer is 4.8% pale ale that promises to delight our senses, with Strata being the sole hop used known for its vibrant and complex notes with a full on orchestra of tropical fruits, fresh citrus and even the slight hint of cannabis making Pendulum strata not one to miss.

We are going to look into what makes this particular hop special and how it helps to shape the distinct identity of our newest pale ale. Whether you are a craft beer aficionado knowing your hops from look alone or you are a casual enthusiast, Pendulum Strata gives a unique opportunity to experience the hop all by itself.

What is Strata Hops?

Strata hops have been a rising star in the craft beer world, known for their distinct and compelling profile. The hop itself originated from a collaboration between Indie Hops and Oregon State University hop breeding programme (That’s right, they have a hop breeding programme!!) Strata originally had the sexy name of X-331. The partnership was aimed to help develop hops which not only preformed well in the field but also excited brewers and consumers.

Strata was designed to have a spectrum of flavours and aromas (hence the name “Strata“). This hop has a particularly pronounced notes of tropical fruits, delivering waves of mango and passion fruit, mixed with refreshing bursts of citrus. So think ripe grapefruit with a twist of lime. What helps to set Strata apart from the rest is its intriguing subtle undercurrent of dank, herbal cannabis like notes adding that layer of complexity.

Choosing Strata hops for our single-hopped pendulum series means we were able to keep these dynamic characteristics of the hop shine, as with many beers including our own there is a blend of multiple hops in different ratios, but using a single variety it gives the chance for the beer drinker to fully appreciate the hop by itself and its impact when used alongside other hops. The approach not only highlights the hops versatility to be used across different beer styles but also offers a clear experience to taste the hop.

Through “Pendulum Strata” we aim to showcase the uniqueness of Strata hops, giving it the spotlight it truly deserves. This approach we are hoping to show the full potential in each sip!

The Making of Pendulum Strata

When brewing our Pendulum series, we try to keep our ingredients of malt and yeast consistent across all the beers in the series with just slight variations depending on the style which suits the hop – on this occasion Strata works well with a pale ale. The base malt is clean and light providing a perfect base for highlighting the hop flavours. The yeast strain is also chosen for it characteristics to enhance the tropical notes from Strata.

Brewing Process:

The brewing of Pendulum starts with the mashing in process which activates the enzymes that converts the starches into fermentable sugars and creating the wort that is the foundation for the hop flavours to develop.

The hopping is where the pendulum series differs, and Strata comes into its own. Strata hops are added at several key stages during the boil. First is to achieve a balanced extraction of bitterness, providing the necessary counter of the malts sweetness. The next additions of the hop is to focus on extracting the tropical and citrus notes and then the final addition at the end of the boil to get the delicate aromatic qualities of the hop

Fermentation and Finishing:

After boiling, the wort is cooled and transferred to fermentation tanks where the yeast is introduced. Fermentation is closely monitored to ensure that it proceeds at the optimal rate, allowing the yeast to convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide without overshadowing the hop profile. Once fermentation is complete, the beer is conditioned to refine its flavours and aromas. The final step is a cold storage period to stabilize the beer before it is carbonated and packaged.

Through this careful brewing process, “Pendulum Strata” is created and there to showcase the hop and exactly how it can influence the entire profile of  a beer from its initial taste to its lingering finish.

Tasting Notes

Our idea is to produce Pendulum Strata which offers an experience to really showcase one of our favourite hops, this is what you should expect –

When pouring our Pendulum Strata, you should get a vibrant slightly opaque golden beer with a frothy white head.

The aroma of Pendulum Strata is bold with vivid notes of tropical fruits and fresh citrus that Strata hops are renowned for, within this you will also get notes of ripe mango, passionfruit and hints of juicy grapefruit. While under these bright top notes, there is a subtle layer of earthy dankness, and rock concert cannabis which adds some depth.

The taste should be a combination of flavour and complexity, on a soft base there should be initial bursts of tropical and citrus fruitiness followed by the mango and passionfruit and then finished with the refreshing citrus zestiness that cleanses the palate.

Pendulum Strata has a medium body and soft carbonation, creating a smooth and soft mouthfeel. Its neither too heavy to too light, getting that balance which allows the flavours to come through without overpowering the senses. With a slight crisp finish, making you look for the next sip.

The Pendulum series we hope continues explore the profound impact that a single hop varietal can have on the taste and aroma of beer. Each release, including our latest “Pendulum Strata,” is a made to show the versatility and dynamic range of hops. Pendulum Strata stands out in this series as known for its striking balance of tropical fruitiness and intriguing herbal notes.

Come and visit us at our taproom to experience it first-hand. If you’re unable to make the trip, look for it at select local distributors and pubs that serve our brews. This is an opportunity to savour a unique beer that embodies the single-hop brew.

Hope you enjoy and cheers to a good beer!