CWU News

Brewing Experiment Yields 30 Brews in 30 Days

A marathon brewing experiment will soon yield heady results. Central Washington University’s Craft Brewing Program has partnered with Yakima Valley Hops and BREWHA Equipment Co. to create a cooperative educational brewing event. The event began February 1, and will end March 1.

Their goal was to brew 30 beers in 30 days using a malt neutral recipe. The purpose was to study 30 hop varieties for their potential flavor contributions.

"This is an incredible opportunity to evaluate hop flavors, and how they can be compared in a controlled experiment,” said Steve Wagner, director of the CWU Craft Brewing Program, and professor of biological sciences. CWU is the first university to offer a four-year bachelor of science degree in craft brewing. “It is rare to be able to evaluate the individual contribution of hop flavors but this project should be of high interest to brewers interested in the use of these varieties of hops.”

With the expansion of hop breeding programs and widespread cultivation of Humulus lupulus, brewing has evolved to suit preferences of tasters around the world. Classic varieties bred with wild hops from North America have generated cultivars that impart greater complexity to beer. The line between bittering and aromatic hops is fading for a more dynamic experience.

“In addition, the technology has now evolved where we can brew small individual batches without having to invest a large amount of materials and time,” continued Wagner. “We can more easily—and economically—evaluate a taste profile. Plus, it’s just a lot of fun to experiment!”

The brewing is taking place at the laboratories of CWU's Craft Brewing Research Lab, and in the brew room of Yakima Valley Hops. The results will be evaluated in hop sensory/tasting panels at Yakima Valley Hops.

Cicerone Wes Cutlip will lead sensory panels comprised of local industry and craft beer professionals. Cutlip is a current student in the Bachelor of Science Craft Brewing Degree Program at CWU and recent graduate of the Craft Brewing Certificate program. Once the tastings are finished, the panel will create a report of their findings to share with the public.

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Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

February 23, 2016