DURHAM, N.H. — University of New Hampshire brewing science students are getting a jump on the summer ice cream season by brewing a new strawberry frappe IPA using strawberries that are part of the NH Agricultural Experiment Station’s organic strawberry breeding program and strawberry season extension research.
The new brew, Strawberry Milkman, is the third to come out of the partnership between researchers with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and the university’s brewing science program. The beer was brewed at the UNH Brewing Science Laboratory by students participating in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture’s advanced brewing class. Strawberry Milkman is the third brew to be developed as part of the partnership between the experiment station and the brewing program. Other releases include George Squashington and Artuga Sour.
Developed by undergraduate student Tim Fischer, Strawberry Milkman contains no bittering hops; New Zealand aroma whirlpool and dry hops are added. “These sweet, cloudy IPAs are quite popular. It is made with a lot of wheat to maximize the protein content of the beer and keep it cloudy. Lactose is added as a sweetness,” said Cheryl Parker, manager of the UNH Brewing Science Lab.
According to the national Brewers Association, the New Hampshire craft brewery industry has an economic impact of $353 million dollars in the state, with more than 100,000 barrels of craft beer produced annually. There were 58 craft breweries in New Hampshire as of 2016.
Some of the strawberries for Strawberry Milkman are from the experiment station’s organic strawberry breeding program at the experiment station’s Woodman Horticultural Research Farm. Led by experiment station researcher Dr. Lise Mahoney, the breeding program aims to develop the first varieties of seed-propagated strawberries specifically designed for organic agriculture in the United States. The fruit is developed for optimal production in New England using advanced genetic techniques. UNH is recognized as one of a very small handful of institutions worldwide working at the forefront of strawberry genomics and its application to strawberry breeding.
Mahoney and her collaborators are using an advanced breeding method called marker-assisted breeding. Marker-assisted breeding allows scientists to conduct traditional cross-hybridization and trait-based selection using genetic testing. Mahoney and Dr. Tom Davis, professor of genetics, molecular and evolutionary systems biology, and sustainable agriculture and food systems, will conduct the genetic testing using the IStraw90® SNP Array, which they helped develop.
The new brew also includes fruit from the TunnelBerries project, a multi-year research project that aims to benefit both growers and consumers. New Hampshire’s strawberry season traditionally lasts only four to six weeks. However, researchers working on the project under the direction of experiment station researcher Dr. Becky Sideman, professor of sustainable agriculture and food systems and UNH Cooperative Extension specialist in sustainable horticulture production, were picking day-neutral strawberries in Durham last November. Experiment station researchers harvested strawberries grown in low tunnels for 19 consecutive weeks from mid-July through the week of Thanksgiving. They also found that the low tunnels significantly increased the percentage of marketable fruit, from an average of about 70 percent to 83 percent.
Also located at Woodman Farm, the TunnelBerries research project is part of a larger, multi-state USDA-funded initiative to optimize protected growing environments for berry crops in the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States. UNH’s component is focused on improving berry quality and the role day-neutral varieties may play in extending the length of strawberry season in the Northeast.
In response to increased interest in the brewing industry, the UNH designed a brewing minor that provides students with a well-rounded understanding of the production and business of beer. The program covers everything from raw ingredients to quality control to distribution, with a focus on quality and consistency. Students gain hands-on experience on and off campus and learn from brewers, business owners, farmers, lab technicians and more. The UNH Brewing Science Laboratory also offers analytical testing services for the local brewing industry.
Strawberry Milkman and George Squashington will be served at the Brewing Science Laboratory’s open house Tuesday, April 2 and Wednesday, April 3, 2019, from noon to 3 p.m. The laboratory is located at 34 Sage Way, Durham. Strawberry Milkman also is expected to be available soon locally on tap at Hop + Grind in Durham. Keep up to date with the latest UNH brews and releases by following the UNH Brewing Science Laboratory on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNHbrewlab.
This material is based upon work supported by the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, through joint funding of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award numbers 1013061 and 1006928, and the state of New Hampshire. The TunnelBerries research also is funded through the USDA NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative under Award Number 2014-51181-22380.
Founded in 1887, the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture is UNH’s original research center and an elemental component of New Hampshire’s land-grant university heritage and mission. We steward federal and state funding, including support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to provide unbiased and objective research concerning diverse aspects of sustainable agriculture and foods, aquaculture, forest management, and related wildlife, natural resources and rural community topics. We maintain the Woodman and Kingman agronomy and horticultural research farms, the Macfarlane Research Greenhouses, the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, and the Organic Dairy Research Farm. Additional properties also provide forage, forests and woodlands in direct support to research, teaching, and outreach.
The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.
–NH Agricultural Experiment Station
UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture
For more articles out of New England, click here.