The breeders of the Warrior hop keep its origins shrouded in mystery. Some reports claim Yakima Chief Ranches first harvested Warrior in 2001, but the hop developers in Yakima Valley, Washington, keep the pedigree of this hop under wraps. Warrior imparts a great deal of bitterness thanks to its high alpha acid content, which makes it a vital part of many IPAs and other hop-dependent styles. The other flavors that come out tend to be along the lines of grapefruit and lemon with some underlying pine notes. Warrior is a relatively high yield hop with good storability, which makes is pretty readily available for use in hoppy American ales — and our beer flight today, Craft Beer Crosscut 8.16.17: A Flight of Warrior.
4.4% ABV, 42 IBU
In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan touched down in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighborhood and called it 21st Amendment Brewery (the 21st Amendment, as any dedicated drinker would know, is the one that repealed Prohibition). The brewery produces a line of very tasty brews including Down To Earth, a session IPA that replaced the brewery’s popular Bitter American but continues the story of HAM, the space chimp that was the focal point of its Bitter American cans. Cascade, Mosaic and Warrior hops offers orange marmalade and melon, chased by caramel and biscuity malt on the nose. On the palate, it’s very crisp and dry, with a lightly grainy, toasted malt backbone wrapped in a blanket of oranges. There’s a blast of citrus and juicy melon.
6% ABV, 60 IBU
As the name suggests, the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA has more than 60 hop additions throughout a 60-minute boil using a slew of Northwest hops, including Warrior. This process has created a deliciously unique and robust IPA bursting with citrus fresh hops and floral aromas. The beer cleanses and refreshes your palate in a wave of crisp bitter hops, a quick sweet rush of pine and grapefruit, plus light malt. We also get a touch of bread on the palate, which adds to a lovely mouthfeel — crisp, very wet, perfectly carbonated, but so smooth.
7.2% ABV, 65 IBU
pFriem Family Brewers’ IPA is more of a Northwest IPA than West Coast IPA meaning its hazy and aromatic with assertive bitterness rather than lighter in body and brighter that is typically associated with West Coast style. pFriem’s IPA is brewed with Gambrinus Canadian Pilsner, Simpsons Caramalt, Simpsons Crystal Light and Simpsons Crystal Dark grains with Chinook, Mosaic, Citra, and Warrior hops before it ferments with American ale yeast for strong citrus character along with some tropical fruit aroma. Grapefruit and passion fruit dominate with a slight pithy/woody quality too. The malt aromas are heavily masked by the hops, but grainy sweetness and a touch of caramel come through. It’s a big, hoppy delight.
7.5% ABV, 70 IBU
When Firestone Walker elected to use the catch phrase “Passion for the Pale”, they were telling the truth. This double dry-hopped IPA has become a West Coast standard by which many others within the style might be measured. A beauteous grapefruit and citrus aroma is achieved through multi-leveled hopping that involves 4-pounds per barrel mix of Warrior, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo and Chinook. Citrusy, floral, pungent, and powerful, the masterful blend of American hop characters is simply unlike any other. Even with its 7.5 percent ABV, alcohol isn’t actually apparent in the taste; in fact, there’s nothing weighty or overwhelming about this beer. It’s elegant, light, and palatable, and finishes dry and perfectly clean.
8% ABV, 75 IBU
Casey and Laura Ruud purchased the floundering Winthrop brewery in 2008, changed the name to Old Schoolhouse Brewery, cleaned it up, and quickly turned it into an award-winning gem of a brewpub. Nate and Jake Young, and their buddy Troy Anderson — longtime fans of the brewery — bought it last year with the intent of keeping it awesome. Ruud Awakening IPA, named after the brewery’s previous owners, beautifully balances fruity bitterness with malty sweetness. It tastes malty, hoppy, fruity and piney, thanks to Warrior, Columbus, Simcoe, Citra and Amarillo hops.