It started as a napkin sketch in a pub, an idea for a device that could boost hop aroma without adding more bitterness. We built the sketch, and the “Hop Torpedo” revolutionized dry hopping and inspired Torpedo Extra IPA. It’s an aggressive yet balanced beer featuring the complex citrus, pine, and herbal character of whole-cone hops.
How It Works - The Hop Torpedo
Dry hopping is a way to give beer more flavor and aroma, not more bitterness. A traditional method is filling nylon sacks with hops and suspending them in fermentation tanks. But sometimes we’d remove those sacks—even weeks later—and they’d be dry in the middle! With the Hop Torpedo, we maximize every hop. Beer circulates out of a fermenter, flows through the column of hops, and back into the tank. By adjusting the time, temperature and speed of circulation, we can control the aromas and flavors in a finished beer.
In 1979, Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi built a brewery from dairy tanks, a soft-drink bottler, and equipment salvaged from defunct breweries. Named for Grossman’s favorite hiking grounds, Sierra Nevada has expanded to include not only award-winning ales and lagers, but also the elegant Sierra Nevada Taproom and Restaurant.