Reformation Oren IPA
Note: Beer Guys Radio is proud to partner with Reformation Brewery. 

The latest release from Reformation Brewery is Oren.

It’s a lower ABV India Pale Ale. We talked to sales director Ryan Stockton about it.

Tell us a little about Oren – How was this recipe developed?

Oren was developed through an ongoing series of experiment beers at our Keeping Room. It started way back in fall of last year as we all desired a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) pale ale or India pale ale (IPA) option. The pioneering of this beer started with our “Pale Ale for President” event where we divided our entire brewery into four teams. Each created an American Pale Ale utilizing a list of allowable malts, hops, and yeast. A winner emerged from this and it’s characteristics rolled into our Hop Expedition series that we feature at our Tasting Room only. Through small tweaks to four different expedition beers by changing hops, hopping technique, and malts – we landed on what has become Oren.

What’s the difference between Oren and Atlas?

ABV is a great starting point but perhaps the least significant difference. Atlas is a malt forward IPA that showcases balancing hops and malts harmoniously. Throwback hops like Cascade and Columbus have been the focal point of Atlas since day one. Oren is a very hop-forward IPA on the other hand. It is along the lines of what we see now as “trend-averse” IPA’s: soft bitterness with prevalent citrus and fruit-forward character. Mosaic and Azacca hops provide majority of the flavor to this beer as the malt bill remains light to allow the hops to shine to their utmost potential. 

Why add another IPA to your lineup?

IPA’s have become such a staple in American craft beer culture. It has been the most-entered style category at Great American Beer Fest since 2002 and we’ve seen a number or reiterations added to its sub-style guidelines. There is and may always be some sort of expedition to find the newest hops or utilize some of the most diverse hops in unique ways. With this diversification, we wanted to give our fans options that find themselves on opposite sides of the spectrum..hop forward vs malt forward. One of the greatest parts of the craft beer industry is the volume of choices a consumer has when ordering a pint. We wanted to offer our newest interpretation to allow them choose between Reformation IPA’s.

What does “Oren” mean – why the name?

Oren has a literal translation in Malay to mean “orange” in English. Seems fitting as this may be the most outstanding flavor we notice from this IPA. We have chosen to name our beers with personal names because this is personal to us. We want to connect with our consumers and get to know their story. Giving our beers a personal name allows Reformation fans to connect with our family as we share moments together.

This is the result of you testing out beers on your test batches at the brewery. How important is it to have that research and development in place?

R&D is a cornerstone in this industry. It’s how many of us fell in love with craft beer. The exploration and creativity, the fining tuning and execution. It all goes hand in hand to allow us to release a product to the masses that we are truly comfortable with. Sharing these “early prototypes” in the Keeping Room with our friends, family, and fans allow us to collaborate as a community.  But even more importantly, it adds a piece to our story telling behind the beer. We are so thankful that our community gets to participate in the research and development of our products. Oren is truly a product of community collaboration. 

You’re expanding to 12,000 barrel capacity. What will this allow you to do?

Make a lot more beer 🙂 After four years, we’ve reached the outer boundaries of Georgia and have even hopped (no pun intended) the state line into Chattanooga. A few more jumps to adjacent states are in our future plans as well. On the flip side of that coin, it will allow us the capacity to consider lagering beers and continue to meet growing demand in Georgia.

You’ve also expanded to other markets recently (Savannah and Chattanooga). Will we see Reformation expand its footprint more in the near future?

We have a few markets in mind, Charleston being one of those as well as Birmingham, Nashville, and the Florida panhandle. All are communities we’d love to connect with our beer, but we’re going to let this grow organically and not force any market. We believe in building real relationships each step of the way.

July 1 is “Set Beer Free” Day in Georgia – we’ve come a long way when it comes to beer in this state, haven’t we?

Haven’t we though! We were very humbled when the mayor announced this a holiday last year in Woodstock and it was even extended to all of Cherokee County. Now we see it as a great opportunity to not only highlight us but in the spirit of independence – highlight the local independent brewers that support their economies and communities. It’s one thing to be a local craft brewery, it’s something completely more to be an Independent maker. Set Beer Free!

What’s coming up next for Reformation?

Our fourth anniversary is right around the corner and we have a few tricks, I mean barrels, up our sleeves.

Oren will be released in 12 oz cans in July.