Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Hopcam is Back

The live hop cam is back for the 2012 hop growing season. The 2012 hopcam features a better camera and an all new page with a daily slideshow and a 12:00pm daily collection

The new page can be seen here: The Hopcam!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring is in the air!

Centennial Hops Shooting through a layer of spent grain.
Look what I found this morning. My pot of Centennial hops are poking out through the crust of spent grain. The spent grain works well for maintaining moisture in the pot. I would think it must also add nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. It is so nice to see after the long dreary winter.

It may be time to bring back the hop cam!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Yakima Chief inc. hosts Yakima Brewers and Mid-Columbia Zymurgy

Karl and Ken prepare a hop extract presentation
The Yakima Chief  Hop processing facility in Sunnyside Washington graciously opened up the doors to the Yakima Valley's Homebrew club, Yakima Brewers. Thankfully The Yakima Brewers are a great bunch of folks who also invited the neighbouring Tri-Cities  homebrew club, Mid-Columbia Zymurgy Association for the tour.

The CO2 extraction facilitie's Karl Vanevenhoven, Director of Operatoins, and Ken Mortensen, extract plant manager, provided a fantastic educational and eye opening tour of the CO2 extraction process, packaging, pelletizing, and storage of hops.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Noble Rot - Alexandria Nicole Winery - Dog Fish Head

A new beer from Dog Fish Head, Noble Rot, features grapes from Prosser Washington's own Alexandria Nicole's vineyard.

Noble Rot is a 9% ABV Saison style ale using spicy Belgian yeast, Pilsner and wheat malt, 50% Botrytis-infected Viognier and Pinot Gris grapes, and 18 IBUs of Warrior Willamette and Liberty hops.

Noble Rot is on tap right now at McKay's taphouse in Richland Washington.

Do not sample Noble Rot after having any full-bodied beer. My first taste and initial reaction was, 'did someone cut this with water', because, like most white wine, it has very little body when compared to a typical craft beer. There is high carbonation and it ends a bit cidery. After a few more tastes I was able to get more out of it. There is a strong fruit component, but not like the typical dried fruit associated with beer (raisins-fig). The fruit is more like melon and peach.

Sam Calagione is a marketing genius. He is getting snobby wino street cred by featuring Alexadria Nicole's grapes in the Saison and also Jarrod Boyle's face in the videos helping with the brewing process. This is absolutely the cross-over beer for the wine people who say they don't like beer. Noble Rot is designed for the special people who think of beer as trite and only for commoners who couldn't possibly understand the complexities of being a special person (spoken in the voice of Thurston Howel III). It's probably also for the folks who's only exposure to beer is a bud light and they have no idea of the endless array of styles and flavours that are possible in the craft beer world. Noble Rot is the gateway beer to a Black Tar Russian Imperial Stout.