Goose Island UK launches hydroponic hops IPA

30 Sep 2021

Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned craft brewery Goose Island announced it is launching a session IPA in the U.K. called Hail Hydro. Brewed with hydroponically-grown hops, the beer is available in limited supply only on the Goose Island U.K. website.

The 4.7% hazy session IPA is brewed with hops grown hydroponically at AeroFarms’ global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, which Goose Island says lend a fresh “citrus punch with hints of lemon and lime” to the beer’s flavor profile. This new hazy IPA is a part of Goose Island’s Impossible IPA series, which is a line of beers that are made using recipes with new hops and techniques to create craft session brews.

Goose Island UK launches hydroponic hops IPA

Not only do these hydroponically-grown hops offer a unique flavor profile to the beer, but they also make the beer unique in terms of its environmental footprint.

“Hydroponically cultivated hops are an exciting prospect, and the potential innovation opportunities and sustainable benefits are exciting for the craft community,” said AeroFarms CEO David Rosenberg in a release. He noted that this collaboration with Anheuser-Busch InBev to create Hail Hydro was under wraps for more than a year as the companies developed a solution that suited both their needs.

AeroFarms’ growing technology can yield up to 390 times greater productivity annually while using up to 95% less water and zero pesticides versus traditional field farming, the company said in a release. By foregoing soil in favor of submerging the plant roots in a growth medium, the vertical farming facility can produce hops year-round with no pesticides or interruptions to harvest schedules.

Consumers can get a closer look at the farming technology by scanning a QR code on the Hail Hydro packaging that will take them to a farm tour.

Hydroponics is an emerging farming technique that arrived in response to agriculture supply-chain challenges. Climate change has resulted in adverse effects on global crop yields that have strained supply, and AeroFarms is one of the many startups responding to that challenge through developing year-round growing techniques. Through this new partnership, AB InBev is securing access to mature hops with less variability in seasonality as compared to hops that are grown in more traditional environments.

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