Along with Bright colors and marketing fun, Karbach Brewing is a standout among the crowded beer market. The brewery, founded in Houston in 2011, has quickly become a craft beer favorite that spread from a local brew to something that can be purchased in stores around the state. Innovative names like Hopadillo IPA, Love Street, and Weekend Warrior Pale Ale boast flavors that allow Karbach to remain a mainstay in the crowded beer market.
Karbach’s newest beer is called Hop Delusion Space City, a nod not only to its hometown, but also the Galaxy and Comet hops used to make this tasty beer. We got to sit down and chat with Brian Starr, Innovation Manager at Karbach Brewing Co., to talk about Hop Delusion and everything hops.
First and foremost, what is a hop?
A hop is really the flower off a vine, but looks sort of like a hairy bud. When you tear the bud open lengthwise and pull it open you can see the yellow oil inside, that is what a brewer looks for. When you get the oil out and heat it up – that is where the taste comes from.
How is the flavor profile of Karbach Delusion Space City different from Karbach’s other beers?
This is by far the hoppiest beer we have. The hop aroma is very pungent and has more grapefruit, citrus, and tropical fruit flavors, where as our other beers have a lot more pine and earthiness.
In the last five years we’ve seen an explosion in the types of hops we can get. There are so many more hops with fruity and citrus flavors. You just couldn’t get that when we started out at Karbach. Also, this beer is an Imperial IPA which means it is a strong beer.
Are the hops what influenced the name of this beer?
Karbach has had Hop Delusion around since 2013 and it was a seasonal beer, so we would make a couple of batches and then it would go away for a year. Now we are going to keep the Hop Delusion name, but switch it up every quarter. Our first launch is Space City Delusion, because we used the Comet and Galaxy hops, but for spring and summer it will change to Mango Delusion and have more of a mango flavor. We haven’t forgotten all of the original Hop Delusion fans, so that flavor will be coming back, as well. As a brewer this is really exciting because we get to switch things up every 12 weeks.
Do you see Karbach staying in Houston – since the company was bought by Budweiser?
If you see what they have done with other brewers they have bought, they pretty much all stay where they are. Our large batch beer is being brewed elsewhere, which frees us up to be way more creative with our beers and our brewing. We now have the capacity and the time to come up with beers like Hop Delusion Space City and experiment more. It is exciting to have the opportunity to be more innovative and hope something works.
What would you pair Hop Delusion Space City with for the ultimate dinner?
Because it is an IPA, I would definitely pair it with curry or Thai food. The bitterness of the beer really cuts through the spiciness of the food and you get a lot of overlapping flavors that complement each other.