If you’ve ever had a wet-hop beer, you know why it’s exciting that some of Colorado’s homebrew enthusiasts and microbreweries are experimenting with locally-grown hops.
Hops are the little flowers/cones/mystery pods that give beer some of its most distinct flavors. They’re typically dried out before the brewing process, so most folks don’t know about the wild and woolly world of wet-hopped beer. The first time I ever had a beer brewed with hops grown by someone whose face I’d seen, it was in Brooklyn, N.Y., at a beer store situated dangerously close to where I lived.
Now it looks like I need to get up to Longmont for some of what Left Hand is cookin’:
Left Hand Brewing in Longmont last week brewed a wet-hopped IPA called Warrior. While the brewery generally make a wet-hopped beer at harvest time, this was the first time it used Colorado hops in its brew. When the hops were ready for harvest, Lefthand employees drove over the Divide to Paonia to fetch a couple of vans full of hops.
Chris Lennert, vice president of operations at Left Hand, says the brewery used about 500 pounds of hops for its five batches with about 25 pounds of hops from its own brewery property in Longmont.
Lennert say he loves the flavor of wet-hopped beer.
“It’s an amazing floral citrus aroma … from the wet hops,” he says. Lennert uses fresh basil vs. dried to compare the difference between fresh and dried hops.
Yow. Who’s driving? Read more about Colorado hops at the Camera.