Unless you’ve been living under a sober rock, you’ve probably noticed a lot of beers focusing on a particular hop varietal: Citra®. Even if you haven’t noticed the hype, you’ve very likely consumed a lot of Citra® anyway. At 10 years on the market, it’s not really a “new” hop, but its quickly-growing popularity with consumers and brewers has influenced hop farmers to plant heavily. In fact, Yakima Chief Hops and the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service claim Citra® is the leading variety planted in the Pacific Northwest in 2018! And as you know, Washington state produces 75% of the nation’s hops–meaning that a whole lot of the nation is excited about Citra®. Why exactly has Citra® snagged the hearts and palates of millions?
Who need a witty introduction when you have these two superstars? Because if you’re not excited at the idea of a stout with bacon then I probably can’t convince you to be. But I hopefully don’t need to try. Go do this. Get a nice, balanced stout–not too sweet, and with a good minerality. A noticeable but not overpowering roast. As for the bacon: let’s get it straight. Not all bacon is created equal. Yes, maybe it’s all delicious, but there’s a real difference between your supermarket pre-cut, packaged slices and a bacon that’s made from happy pigs by happy butchers. If you can, check out some at your local farmer’s market or a small butcher shop. Or, make your own! It’s actually not as hard as it seems. I promise.