When we first brewed Rebel IPA in our nano brewery in 2014, we wanted to do something that went a little bit against the grain by brewing a West Coast style IPA that wasn’t just about bitterness, but had balance and paid homage to the aromatics and flavors of some of our favorite West Coast hops. We loved Rebel IPA, but our brewers challenged themselves to make it even better.
After more than four years, our brewers undertook what they’ve dubbed “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. For Project Lupulus, our brewers looked to optimize the flavor of each hop variety by changing up the blend and ratio of hops for the new Rebel IPA. 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.
So, what came of Project Lupulus? Paying homage to the original recipe, Rebel IPA is brewed with a few of the original hop varieties including Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe® and Chinook – with the addition of Mosaic hops, HBC 566, and HBC 682, a new, experimental bittering hop. 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. To dial up the hop impression, the newly reborn Rebel IPA removed caramel malt from the grain bill and now is brewed only with Samuel Adams special two-row malt blend.