Monday, August 6, 2012

Hop Time!

It's getting to be that time again!  Yeah, football season is starting soon, but that's not what I'm talking about. This time of year, brewers get excited about just one thing - fresh hops!  This past Saturday, the Yazoo crew  joined some folks from Sulphur Creek Farm in Bells Bend to pick hops for our annual Fresh Hop ale.

The hops we picked were of the Cascade variety, and were planted about three years ago.  Earlier this spring, the folks at Sulphur Creek expanded the hop trellis area and planted a local variety of hops, that were sourced growing wild at another local farm.  The owner of that farm said the hops have been growing wild on his property for years.

The Cascades planted a few years ago were ready to be picked - the drought in June had been pretty hard on them.  But the local variety exploded into new growth once the rains came back in July, and we decided to let them continue growing for another month or so.

The hops picked Saturday went into a brewing tank on Sunday morning, and are happily steeping all of their resiny, oily goodness into a batch of beer.  Once the rest of the hops are picked, in about a month, we will do the same with them, and then blend the two batches together into one big Fresh Hop ale.

We're planning another big party again once the beer is ready.  And if all goes well, we plan on bottling some of this Fresh Hop ale in the big 750 ml bottles.  A local artist out in Bells Bend is working on a great label for the bottles.  So stay tuned!

Here are some great pics of the harvest, thanks to Paul Schatzkin!

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