Fresh hop season is upon us! We figured the best way to celebrate was by inviting 13 of our brewery friends down for a block party. Don’t miss Hoptober Freshtival on October 11! It’s not often you get to try 14 different interpretation of fresh hop ales side by side. Oh, and each brewery will be bringing an additional keg of some kind for 28 total brews to sample. Get your tickets in advance and save yourself $5: http://hoptober.brownpapertickets.com/!
From Farm to Pint: Mr. Freshy
So, what are fresh hopped beers, anyway? They’re brewed during a very brief window of the year when hops are being harvested. It’s the one time we can use hops directly after they’re picked from the vine and before they are processed in any way; normally hops are dried and then pelletized. In this case, they go straight from the vine to the beer in a matter of hours. The result is a wonderfully aromatic, fresh-tasting creation.
They’re also incredibly stressful to brew. Lance had a fermenter empty and waiting for several days ahead of time, as hop harvest timing is never certain. Which is an eternity when you only have three fermenters. Finally, Debbie from Alpha Hops called and said they’d begin harvesting on a Wednesday. Bright and early the next day, Lance was beginning the brew.
Meanwhile, Zack and Collin hit the road to Parma to get Zeus and Chinook hops, unadultrated and right off the vine.
Filling huge bags full of the wonderful smelling cones felt a little like a bank robbery, as if they were stuffing money into duffel bags. Knowing that they had to return to the brewery before Lance was done with the boil contributed to the sense of urgency and a hasty exit.
Back at the brewery, Lance filled up our mash tun with 100 pounds of our freshly-picked hops, like an enormous hop-back. He recirculated the bitter wort through the fresh goodness and finally filled that waiting fermenter.
Two weeks later, Mr. Freshy was born! He is currently on tap in the tasting room. But to get the full fresh-hop experience, come check us out this Saturday, October 11, where you can sample 14 of them from 14 breweries. Tickets are $20 in advance (online, or in the tasting room and get a free pint) or $25 at the door. Included is a commemorative sample mug and unlimited fills!
And cheers to a special season in the brewing world!