Wet Hopped Ales
The first craft beers featuring MI Local Hops were on tap and on store shelves all over Michigan this fall. Wet hops also known a fresh cone, or green hops, are picked from the hop bine and shipped in apple crates directly to the brewery where they are dropped directly into the boil. It’s a transaction that builds trust and a direct relationship between the hop farmer and the brewer.
The majority of hops are sold in pellet form and can be stored in cold storage for up to two years. Hop pellets are brewed when called upon to execute the recipe for a seasonal or flagship beer. The challenge with wet hopped beers is communicating harvest dates as well as coordinating with the brewery on a specific brew date and the logistics of delivery. With that challenge comes a reward in knowing when and where the wet hopped beer will be released. This is an opportunity for the farmer and his or her team to taste the fruits of their labor after a long hop harvest comes to a close.
Challenges are always present, the weather can delay the harvest, the traffic can delay delivery times, and the quality of the hop is always the sensory microscope when it comes to selecting what goes into to what consumers are drinking. Overall wet hopped ales are becoming a tradition between many breweries and their local hop farms.
MI Local Hops in joint venture partnership with Empire Hops Farm executed it’s first harvest this year starting on August 22nd and ending on September 15th. Four wet hop craft beers were brewed with Cascade and Centennial hops that were picked from the 200 acre hops farm in Williamsburg, and Chinook hops were picked from Quiet Little Farms out of Kingsley. Quiet Little Farms is a farm that pelletizes their hops at MI Local Hops farm.
Short’s Brewing Company was first to hit the wet hopped market with their traditional wet hopped ale, Kind Ale. That beer was brewed with Cascade and Chinook hops.
Harvest Ale was a collaboration wet hopped beer brewed by Founders Brewing Company with Cascade hops from MI Local hops, as well as hops from Hop Head Farms, and Hop Yards of Kent.
Stormcloud Brewing Company’s 24:30 wet hopped ale was brewed with Chinook Hops from Empire Hops Farm, and Cascade and Centennial hops from MI Local Hops.
Harvest Triumphance from Beards Brewery was the fourth and final wet hopped beer brewed with Cascade hops from MI Local Hops.
The majority of these beers are sold out now, but you might be able to find a few wet hopped ales on tap at the respected breweries listed above. We will be doing a write up on other uses for hops such as new coffee recipes, hopped ciders, and how the maker movement is finding new ways to use hops in a variety of products.
Sales & Marketing Manager
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