April marks six years of open doors and flowing taps at The Propagator, as well as the release of our sixth anniversary Double IPA, Gen-6. As with previous Propagator anniversary beers, Gen-6 is a riff on our now-classic Propagator house IPA, Gen-1.
When we started brewing at our small pilot brewhouse in Venice in 2016, Gen-1 was a progressive step toward the new style of juicier IPA that was just starting to take the American beer market by storm. It features Mosaic and Citra hops for a huge fruit-forward aroma and is unfiltered for a lightly hazy appearance, while bitterness remains balanced. Each year we have expanded on that initial idea and reflected on the past year’s inspiration to create a new version that represents our year in IPA.
While Gen-4 and Gen-5 were super juicy, Hazy Double IPAs, Gen-6 represents somewhat of a return to the more classic West Coast form that we were originally working within on Gen-1.
After several years of hazier, juicier IPAs becoming more and more popular, we have seen a shift back to more balanced and somewhat clearer IPAs over the past year. It turns out that a lot of us like the refreshing bitterness and dryness in the West Coast style.
After years of brewing hazy IPAs and experimenting with new hop varieties and techniques, we were ready to come back to a West Coast IPA with fresh eyes and a new approach. The only thing missing was a partner to help us hit that new target. Enter: El Segundo!
The brewers just down the road at El Segundo Brewing Company have been cranking out fantastic IPAs for over a decade now, and they specialize in the clear, refreshing West Coast style. We collaborated on a new recipe drawing inspiration from Gen-1 and adding on a couple of new hop varieites that we have been stoked on in the past year, as well as a sensibility and approach drawing on the years of IPA experience that we both bring to the brewhouse.
Gen-6 features a base of pilsner malt and wheat malt with a touch of dextrose sugar to dry out the finish and allow the hops to take center stage (the yeast ferments all the sugar which actually makes the beer dryer than it would be if we just added more malt).
We started the hops off with our favorite kettle hop, Simcoe, prized for it’s clean and snappy bitterness. We then added Mosaic Cryo and Citra in the whirlpool in classic Gen-1 fashion to layer on citrus, berry, and tropical aromas. In a newer twist, we decided to add a start-of-fermentation dry hop of more Mosaic Cryo to maximize biotransformation of hop compounds by our house yeast.
To finish things off with our last dry hop at the end of fermentation, we added more Citra as well as two new hop varieties: Vista, which is a new publicly developed hop from the USDA hop breeding program, and HBC 1019, which is an experimental variety still in development by the Hop Breeding Company. Both varieties are complex mixes of tropical and stone fruit with citrus undertones.
The result of all of this is a bright gold Double IPA at 8.6% ABV with a huge tropical fruit and citrus/stone fruit aroma, moderate bitterness, and a refreshing finish that makes it dangerously drinkable for its strength. Four-pack 16-ounce cans of Gen-6 are available at all Firestone Walker locations beginning Friday, April 15, and they can also be ordered at our online store for shipping where available.
If you’re in the LA area, come by and celebrate six years with us at our Propagator anniversary party on April 30. Learn more about the event here.