sonar-the aroma adventure

RECENT SONAR BATCH  & FLAVOR DESCRIPTORS…..in no particular order.
      JAM    Notes of Concord Grape, jelly & Jam, pinot citrus, and a delicate musky flavor in the backround.  Whole leaf Chelan & Eureka hops.
     Tropic Grunge (labeled TGR on Sonar bottle caps)   Notes of Mango, Spice, and Earth.   Progress, exp# 430, and a mix of spicy German noble varieties for the hops.

     Botanic Punch (labeled BPU on Sonar bottle caps)    Mosaic and HBC 291 hops. A punch of botanic fruitiness.




 Omaha area:

Big Johns’ billiards

Crescent Moon


Local Patio 9th & Dodge


Old Dundee bar & grill


Spin Pizza


Lincoln area:

Chez Bubba cafe in Goehner

Dino’s Eastside Grille

Kabo in Beatrice


Yia Yia’s

Sometimes available at:  Lead Belly, Jake’s, Dempsey’s


     The ultimate hoppy “Aroma Adventure” has arrived with Sonar.  Every batch will be dry-hopped with a VERY different array of intensely aromatic and flavorful hops!  Sonar will ping your nose with waves of aroma and flavor that will change every time Sonar is brewed.
        New hop varieties in recent years have opened up a whole new world of great aroma, so naturally here at Spilker ales we think it would be a shame to let any great hop go without its due glory!  Hop researchers have worked diligently to create outstanding new flavors in hops and the results are nothing short of amazing.
           Sonar will have many experimental varieties of hops that don’t even have a name yet.  We’ve searched almost every corner in the kingdom of Lupulin to find the best varieties and most unique hops available.
We’ve done extensive testing on every hop variety that we use in Sonar.  Sometimes that means sampling 35 different varieties in small scale pilots of beer experiments.   When you start mixing and matching all of those hops, it takes a while to sort through all of the incredible combinations….but we are up to it!
New varieties of hops have almost every flavor imaginable popping out from the resins lurking within.  The Citrus flavor spectrum has been widened immensely in recent years and you will taste a lot of those in Sonar.  For example, in the subset of grapefruit Citrus flavors in hops there used to only be “pink grapefruit” and “yellow grapefruit” flavors.  Now some of the grapefruit aromas would also include “candy-white grapefruit rind”, “musky grapefruit citrus”, and “rotting pink grapefruit peels”.(Yes, it actually tastes really, really, good.)   We’ll get you your full quota hops that exhibit exotic tropical flavors that are coming out as well.  Then there’s a very expansive “other” category that grows every year…just look at some of the descriptions of our Sonar batches below.  There is only barley malt, hops, water and H2O in Sonar.  All of the amazing flavors you get from Sonar come from the hops and their interaction with the yeast  malts, we don’t use any spices or wood aging.
Sonar is brewed very similarly to the way we brew Hopaluia.  We use only the techniques that bring out an amazing hop flavor and aroma front and center.  Hops are what we are all about so we have decided to focus entirely on hoppy beers.  A major part of Sonar is the biotransformation that we do with our dry-hopping.  Our yeast combination and techniques bring out some really different flavors in hops that can’t be replicated any other way!
If you are very particular about which varieties of hops ping your nose, Sonar may take you on quite a wild ride.  Just chill out a little if you can’t handle it.  30-60 days down the road Sonar will be an entirely new hop experience and you can dive back in again.  Most batches will turn around 180* in the flavor spectrum from the last batch.
Only the hops with the most amazing aroma go into Sonar.  We’re not taking you on a little trip to taste average ubiquitous hops you’ve had over and over before.  You will not try every new hop that comes out either, many of them are simply not up to the task.  Most versions of Sonar will feature two different hops in the dry hopping of each batch, once in a while we’ll do a single varietal dry-hopping or even use three, but no more.  You’ll be able to pick out the flavors or each hop with a careful pallete…we’re going to stay far away from a generic tasting “hop soup” of many varieties. We also won’t try to save some hops by pawning off something substandard.  Some hops are just meant to end up in the compost pile.
     “GOOD DANK” vs. “BAD DANK”…..
Sonar will have some really good funk in it sometimes…so what is that?  Well, there is what we would call “good dank” in some hop varieties and “bad dank” in others.  Its just something you know when you taste it.  The “good dank” is really hard to describe, but its actually quite amazing and comes in different forms.  It grabs you somewhere where your throat meets your stomach and makes you beg for more.  Its got an edgy flavor that is intensely satisfying.
The “bad dank” would be like Shrek’s armpit.  Aromas of rotten garlic, composting onion, cow & fox urine, diesel fuel, and a few other aromas only a Zookeeper worker could identify.  Some hop heads love that, but we’ve left the “bad dank” varieties out of Sonar.
Check out the first three characters on the tag of your bottle of Sonar.  That will be the batch # comprised of letters & numbers.  We’ll tell you right here the hops that are found in the batch you are holding.  Kegs of Sonar will have the batch name on the keg collar stickers…..said stickers can go right to the bottom of the Sonar tap handle so you know which batch you are drinking.
 If you really love a certain batch of Sonar more than others, we would advise to stock up and enjoy it while you can.  We’ve found so many great hoppy combinations that most batches of Sonar will only be repeated once every 2-3 years, if ever!