Hops contribute many aspects to a beer. Perhaps originally used for their antimicrobial properties and their ability to–after being boiled for a period of time–impart a bitter yin to the proverbial yang of the malt used in every beer, recent history has emphasized the aromatic and flavor contributions that hops impart. The way these flavors and aromas are typically imparted is by adding different varieties of hops very late in the beer-making process – this gives little time (and less direct heat) for the volatile oils that give hops their unique flavors to evaporate.
We take this approach to its logical conclusion by utilizing a concept called “dry-hopping” in many of our IPAs and highly hopped beers, including our Dugong Dry-Hopped IPA. A simple malt backbone of pale and caramel malts is mashed at high temperatures to provide a sweet, balancing foundation for a host of American west coast hops at various stages of the beer making process, including a over 3 pounds per barrel during secondary fermentation. This “dry hopping” occurs at ambient temperatures, after the production of CO2 during primary fermentation, and after the yeast have flocculated out of solution, minimizing the primary culprits that rob hop aroma and flavor from a finished beer. As the bittering compounds in hops aren’t soluble at room temperature, this technique doesn’t impart additional bitterness to the Dugong – instead, the major additions are huge pine, grapefruit rind, orange zest, mint, and spice notes, all contributed by the oils extracted from the hops.
We named this beer after the Dugong (Dugong dugon), one of the Philippines’ most threatened marine mammals. Also known as the baboy-dagat (sea pig), this magnificent animal once inhabiting the waters around every island in the Phillipines. It was relatively common until the 1970s, when years of hunting these creatures for their meat, hides, bones, and oil as well as destruction of their habitat began to take its toll on their numbers, and they are now listed by IUCN as Vulnerable to Extinction. As with all our Humulus-Lapu-Lapulus beers, 10% of all proceeds from these beers will go to programmatic efforts by a wildlife conservation organization dedicated to protecting the Dugong and other Cebuano area natural treasures.