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January 19, 2017Jim Koch

A Rebel Reborn

When the idea to develop our take on a West Coast style IPA first came about, we challenged ourselves to brew an IPA that wasn’t a palate-scorching hop-bomb (which believe it or not, was a fairly revolutionary idea at the time).

We wanted an IPA that wasn’t about bitterness. An IPA that had balance, an often-overlooked quality in a beer, and one that really showcased the aromatics and flavors of our favorite West Coast hops. 

And so Rebel IPA was born. We hand selected the hop varieties that to us really say “American crafted” - American Cascade, Simcoe®, Chinook, Centennial, and Amarillo. It had the bright citrus and grapefruit flavors and subtle pine notes that drinkers love in West Coast style IPAs. 

As new hops became available since Rebel IPA first launched, we knew it could be better. Cue Project Lupulus. 

Project Lupulus refers to the scientific name of a hop, Humulus lupulus, and its special lupulin glands which are the fundamental source of flavor, bitterness, and aroma in hops. As hop varieties evolve, we want to use the new varieties to continually brew the best beer possible. As part of this project, we collaborated with a hop breeder in Yakima Valley, WA to create a new hop variety that is proprietary and exclusive to us called HBC 566.

After months of experimenting with dozens of trial batches (we averaged at least one new test brew in the nano each week), we are now ready to release the new Rebel IPA recipe.

Like with the original Rebel IPA recipe, this release isn’t a palate-scorching hop-bomb. Our goal was to showcase the intricate aromas and flavors of hops, especially with new, experimental hop varieties HBC 566 and HBC 682. Rebel IPA now has a more intense juicy, tropical and citrus flavor supported by a leaner body and a crisp, clean finish to optimize the hop character.

Not that long ago, it was a challenge just to find quality, flavorful hops and now, we’re developing our own proprietary hop with unparalleled lemony-lime, orange and eucalyptus notes. It’s wild to think how far the brewing industry has come and that today, a beer can evolve.

Want to give it a try? Click here to find it near you.

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