Hops are basically as essential an ingredient to beer as it gets. For most craft beer drinkers, it’s their favorite part of beer. You can’t make an IPA without hops and what is beer without IPAs? Well, essential or not, when it comes to winning medals, Red Rock Brewing proved that you can take home a gold and not bother with the hops.
So what did they use instead of hops? Dandelion greens, of course. Red Rocks Paardebloem (Flemish for dandelion) is a Belgian-style ale that replaced hops with dandelion greens to add a bitterness to the beer. The beer is made with pilsner malt, grains of paradise, peaches, fresh picked dandelion greens, and is then blended with some wood-aged beer.
Following its success at the GABF (winning a gold in 2012), New Belgium Brewing collaborated with Red Rock and added the brewery to their Lips of Faith series. New Belgium also had a former Red Rock brewer, who was part of coming up with the original recipe, working for them and helped introduce them to this unique hop-less beer. In 2014, Red Rock took home another medal, winning a silver at GABF.