Charleston Brewing Company released a new IPA the other day that is a tribute to Bavarian hop breeder Anton Lutz. Lutz is best known for his development of the much sought after Mandarina Bavaria hop, which has a distinct honeydew melon aroma to go along with its strong tangerine and citrus. His hop varieties accentuate fruit in both taste and aroma but are softer and less piney-resiny than the popular West Coast IPA hop varieties.
I took the photo above last April in Denver during the Craft Brewers Conference. That’s Lutz on the left and Charleston Brewing Company brewer Ryan Heastings on the right.
￼I tried the beer Anton at Pies & Pints, Charleston on Friday and found it much to my liking. From surveying a few others who were also trying it, I think Ryan has hit on a good one.
While IPAs are the most popular beer style today, you are just beginning to see more American IPAs flavored with German hops.
Ryan told me that Lutz was a personal hero of his and that he much admired his hop breeding work.
I think Anton the beer is a superb tribute to Anton the man. My wish is for continued success to both Ryan and Anton in their respective trades. Beer drinkers are better off for them both.
Pictured below is one of the Hüll Special Flavor Hops to come out of the breeding program led by Anton Lutz. These Bavarian hops have a mixed parentage of German and US hop varieties. American and European brewers are beginning to use these new German hybrids as they become more widely available. I’ve seen Mandarina IPAs from both Victory Brewing Company and Nøgne ø.
—Charles Bockway • Ⓒ 2014