Royal Oak’s ROAK Brewery Tests Hops Extraction Technology

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ROAK Brewing Co. in Royal Oak will become one of the first breweries to utilize a technology called ApoWave hop extraction. The process offers increased hop flavor extraction for higher yields of beer, while using fewer hops.

“(The technology is) a way to get more out of less,” says John Leone, co-owner of ROAK. “Hops are a crucial ingredient in making beer, (but) prices have been going through the roof.” He says the technology can work for a number of ingredients that go into beer, including coffee.

Leone says the system, which uses cavitation technology (the formation of cavities in a liquid), has typically been used in the egg-processing industry to homogenize eggs. He says it could reduce hops usage by up to 80 percent.

“It’s still very experimental,” Leone says. “We have to see how it affects quality. We still have to have the highest quality beers, and the best tasting beer we can possibly have.”

He says the technology will be installed within the next two weeks, for a six-month trial period. The ApoWave technology is powered by Hydro Dynamics Inc.’s cavitation equipment.

“Hopefully we can help the (craft beer) industry and also do something good for ourselves at the same time,” he says.

ROAK, located at 330 East Lincoln Ave., has more than 16,000 square feet dedicated to brewing. The brewery distributes its beer to restaurants and retail stores across Michigan. In March, ROAK’s beer will be available in Meijer and Busch’s, among other stores.

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