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.
Craig King has a vision of a better way to eat. The former personal chef from Boulder has made a film, “Here We Grow,” that plows fertile ground with its indictment of America’s industrial food supply. But, refreshingly, he wants to more than just preach to the locavores of the world. He hopes to use proceeds from he movie to put together a pilot project to bring healthy foods to people who can’t get them easily.
“As a chef who’s enthused about nourishing people, I saw there was a huge gap in the underserved community,” King says. “Even if (residents) walked miles, there’s no clean, healthy food.”
See the film at Whole Foods on a demo table on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday this week in Boulder or buy it from the store.
Read more about “Here We Grow” at the Camera.
As you know (or as you will find out at about 4 p.m. Sunday if you live in Boulder), the CU vs. CSU football game is coming right up, which means there’s some tailgating to do. But lay off the Frito-Lay and Natty Ice, because there are tons of good, local food and drink options available to make your tailgating party the most delicious locavore pre-gaming you’ve ever been a part of.
Camera food editor Cindy Sutter serves up some great choices for carnivorous and vegiforous* tailgaters :
Such a local game deserves a local menu. How fortunate for us that the obvious menu choices for Buffalo vs. Ram are two foods that have long Colorado associations, not to mention extreme tailgating well-suitedness: bison (a.k.a. buffalo) and lamb.
If you’re into something a little more decadent, there’s always the bison hot dog, served Mexican style. What’s that, you might ask? It should be wrapped in bacon (Longs Farm, please) and served with cheese, and roasted jalapenos or green chiles. Now that’s a tailgating mouthful.
For those of you who like to stick with the basics, go for a bison burger. Just offer plenty of fixings. Several cheeses, jalapenos, caramelized onions, mushrooms. All local, and all delicious.
You may never party the same way again once you’ve checked out Cindy’s buffalo tacos, lamb skewers and grilled eggplant recipes. And don’t forget to have some local brews — plenty of choices there, too!
*No, this is not a real word.
Julia Child inspired tons of people to cook in the French fashion, smearing every available surface with butter — and with gusto. But Boulder’s not quite like that. We’re a city that orders off the menu. We have particularities as well-known as vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free eaters and locavores.
So how can chefs here capture the spirit of Julia Child while feeding their gluten-averse locavegevore guests? Read more