Cheers to the Hop Harvest!

Two weeks ago, Jason & Brian from BottleHouse Brewing Company joined Chef Ben at Spice Acres to harvest second-year hops for a new fresh brew, due out in time for Cleveland Beer Week! Updates to come!

While you wait for that release, stop by Spice Kitchen + Bar for an earlier Spice/BottleHouse collaboration – an experimental beer with foraged findings from the around the farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Spice Acres Spring Gruit, an amber farmhouse ale with hints of spruce, yarrow, mugwort and herbs, has been described as the ideal patio beer – dry, fruity and perfectly refreshing.

We interviewed Brian from BottleHouse for his perspective on freshly harvested brewing ingredients and upcoming fall favorites.

  

What is “wet hop” brewing?

Typically, when hops are harvested, the cones are dried – most breweries use pelletized form of hops for efficiency. Some of the fresh, earthy notes are lost through this process.

When the cones are wet, this is “wet hop” brewing, when brewers take the whole cone and use them in the brewing process. This approach is common for pale ales and IPAs – any hop-forward type of brew. The beer that’s produced has a few unique flavor layers. It tastes fresh, almost vegetal, and many of the citrus and floral subtleties come through.

What formats are common for wet hop brewing?

This approach is common for pale ales and IPAs – any hop-forward type of beer. The hops we harvested from Spice Acres, including Columbus, Chinook and Cascade, are big aroma hops, so we decided to build a pale ale around those unique flavor profiles.

What else are you brewing for fall?

As the cold weather comes in, higher alcohol, heartier beers are the crowd favorites. Basically, it’s any beer you crave to warm up, wheat-heavy and stouts. We release bigger, barrel-type brews like our Baltic Porter. We’re also working on some big Belgian beers that are more malty in composition with a hints of seasonal ingredients like boiled squash to add in that extra layer of fall.