The Empire Hops Back

The Empire Hops Back is an India Pale Lager brewed with Calypso and Idaho 7 hops.

The Empire Hops Back is an India Pale Lager brewed with Calypso and Idaho 7 hops. Pale yellow in color with a frothy white head, this beer has aromas of tropical fruit, pine, and a hint of fresh mint. Grapefruit and apricot flavors coat the palette initially mixed with a slight grassy flavor. The Empire Strikes Back has a medium body and clean lager mouthfeel before finishing dry.

  • ABV: 6.2%
  • IBU: 70
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Origin Story

India Pale Lager, and brewed exclusively with Empire hops grown in Empire Michigan, the name for this beer comes directly from the new hop variety and the area in which they were grown. Produced by local hop farmers at Empire Hop Farms, these hops are truly unique to the state of Michigan. Although their root origin is in the Noble hop strains from Europe, Empire Hop Farms believes that these hops are Michigan's first true proprietary variety. Brought to them by one of their farmers who grows hops and then uses their production equipment to have them pelletized, similar to other hop manufacturers in the state, this particular strain of hops was originally brought to Michigan from Sweden in 1860. Since then, they have been growing wild and slowly mutating on this one northern Michigan homestead for over 150 years, making them truly unique and indicative to this area. Sharing some characteristics similar to Noble hops still grown in Europe, these hops have adapted in order to thrive in the very different soil compositions and weather conditions here in Michigan, so they do have noticeable differences that distinguish them from their ancestral origins. Seeing as we are some of the first brewers to experiment with this new "native" Michigan hop variety, the tasting notes on them are still being complied based on our, and a few others, experience working with them. From what we have been able to gauge thus far, and keeping in mind that we made a very hop forward beer with them, these Empire hops have similar soft aromas to Saaz and Spalt Noble hop varieties, with perhaps a slight spiciness in the nose as well. Unlike most Noble hops, it seems that the bitterness in these are a little more heightened than how their parent strains are often described, which is typically low or soft. The flavor of the Empire hops also appears to be more grassy and have some barn-like characteristics, which is a decent shift from the distinct earthy terminology that tends to get used when describing their Noble counterparts. However, after talking to the owners at Empire Hop Farms, they informed me that the one other brewer who had been experimenting with these claims that the flavor profile will change slightly over time, so some of the big initial flavors we might be picking up on may not be as prevalent as the beer matures and ages.


Empire, Michigan

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 190

Name Origin

Made with all Empire hops
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