After a year in planning, Grand Rapids-based Brewery Vivant has launched a new flagship IPA.
With Hop Field, the brewery decided to build off its best-selling beer, ditching its familiar Belgian yeast for the variety found in its Farmhand Farmhouse Ale. The brewers then took best practices in late hopping to produce an IPA that’s full-flavored without the traditional bitterness.
According to cofounder Jason Spaulding, the beer builds off the base of Farmhand and the popular citrusy flavors of New England-style IPAs to create what Brewery Vivant is calling a Farmhouse IPA.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” Spaulding told Revue during a recent tasting.
The tropical hop flavors then play off the sweetness of the honey malt, while the unmalted wheat gives the 7-percent ABV beer a slightly hazy or cloudy appearance.
The brewers also sourced most of the ingredients locally, including from Byron Center-based Pilot Malt House and Pure Mitten Hops in Coopersville, using a mix of Mackinac, Michigan Copper, Michigan Heritage and other hop varietals.
“The idea was to see if we could use Michigan hops and make a good IPA,” Spaulding said. “We got all the flavors we were looking for by combining these hops.”
According to Brooks Twist, director of operations at Brewery Vivant, the goal with Hop Field was to fill a hole in the company’s portfolio with a truly hoppy IPA. The company’s Triomphe brand always leaned heavily toward the Belgian flavor profile, which never caught on as much as they had hoped for the beer, he said.
Hop Field is the first new flagship beer for Brewery Vivant since May 2015 when it launched Undertaker. The new IPA will be available at the brewery and in cans and on draft across its distribution footprint starting Thursday, Oct. 5.