Anchor Brewing Announces Zymaster #5: Harvest One American Pale Ale

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Anchor Brewing announced today the 5th beer in their Zymaster series. This latest offering — Harvest One American Pale Ale — is a beer made with a new, experimental hop variety. I had a chance to try it during GABF last week, and the nose has amazing peach aromas, with soft, fruit flavors.
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Here’s the full story, from the press release:

It’s hard to imagine that the Cascade hop, today one of craft brewing’s most popular hop varieties, was ever new. Yet this distinctively aromatic hop, developed in Oregon by the USDA’s breeding program, was first released in the early 1970s. In 1975, Anchor Brewing featured Cascade hops with the debut of Liberty Ale®, America’s first craft-brewed, dry-hopped ale. Anchor Brewing has been using it in Liberty Ale® ever since.

Over the years, Anchor Brewing experimented with many different hops—both old and new—from around the world. For Zymaster Series No. 5: Harvest One American Pale Ale, Anchor Brewing decided to feature an experimental new hop variety. This yet unnamed, pre-commercial, aroma hop provides a uniquely Anchor twist to Zymaster 5.

Zymaster Series No. 5 (7.2% ABV) is made with a special blend of pale, caramel, and Munich malts, which contribute a distinctively complex maltiness and deep golden color. Nugget hops give it a tangy bitterness. But the hallmark of Zymaster 5: Harvest One American Pale Ale is the intriguingly novel aroma of an experimental new hop, which was used liberally in both the brewhouse and the cellar. A late addition to the boil plus dry hopping provides Harvest One with an incredibly lively hop aroma reminiscent of tree-ripened peaches, with just a hint of fresh melon. The result is a uniquely exciting new beer unlike anything brewed or tasted before.

“We have a fantastic and long-lasting relationship with the hop growers we work with,” said Mark Carpenter, Brewmaster at Anchor Brewing. “When we had the opportunity to sample and test a small set of experimental hops that were being grown, we were excited at the opportunity to work with something new and different. Out of about a dozen or so samples, there was one that really stood out to us. Right away, we knew this was a new hop variety we wanted to brew on a large scale. We were after something unique and aromatic, and this hop was one we hadn’t seen or smelled before and decided it would fit well in our Zymaster Series. Similar to how Anchor introduced the world to the Cascade hop in 1975 with Liberty Ale, we are proud and excited to share our take on this new, experimental hop in this beer.”

It’s being released today in California, though not all markets within the state, on draft and in 22 oz. bottles, and will be rolled out nationally in the next few months.

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Comments

  1. Gary Gillman says

    This beer looks great. Jay, as best as I can tell from e.g. interviews of Fritz Maytag and Mark Carpenter available on youtube and some other sources, Liberty Ale did first appear in 1975 and it did use Cascade hops, then very new, for aroma hopping, in fact dry-hopping. So this was the first time apparently a craft ale did that. (Some big brewers were using Cascade as an element in their hopping but not in the way that has become associated with American Pale Ale, the style. Also, Henry Weinhard Private Reserve used Cascades but this was a lager and it may have started after 1975, I’m not sure).

    That first beer, the one commemorating Paul Revere’s Ride, used some sugar adjunct and was dark in colour, again from what I’ve been able to glean. Each year though from ’75 at Xmas, Anchor released its special seasonal release, and these often featured Cascade again and the beers became lighter and all-malt. Finally, the Xmas 1983 release was chosen as a template for Liberty Ale which became a regular production item since then. So Anchor did inaugurate the use of Cascade as a prominent aroma hop in ale-brewing in 1975 but Liberty Ale, classically associated with the style, only was perfected from 1983 and regularly released since then – is my understanding.

    They say they are no second acts in American life, but this new peach-scented release sounds good enough that I hope the brewery makes it a permanent item from Day 1 and who knows but there may be an APA Mark II to distinguish American brewing.

    Gary

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