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David Sparks Ph.d Craft Beers
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: February 22, 2019

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In a conversation with Chris Swersey, supply chain specialist for the Brewers Association, I told him that I felt like Sierra Nevada pale ale was the start of a craft beer revolution in the US. “The US beer drinker now really enjoys arguably the most diverse and highest quality beer market in the world. In 40 or 50 years we’ve really gone from a fairly uniform selection of beer styles in American lagers. They are well-made beers but not very diverse. Now we have a situation which is very diverse. There is a lot of choice out there. A lot of that choice is based around hop varieties. The drinker really enjoys the different flavors and aromas that those varieties give to beer. That is a big part of our hop breeding program. We want to focus on new aroma varieties that can replace some of the older varieties. The Sierra Nevada pale ale was created around the cascade hop variety which is a great variety. It’s over 40 years old now so it is beginning to show some wear and tear and over time becoming more susceptible to disease. And so a given variety has a certain shelf life.

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