Duluth, MN – Canal Park Brewing Co. brewmaster Badger Colish spent last Thursday harvesting hops at Brule River Hilltop Hops farm. Colish, along with farm owner Paul Riordan and other brewery coworkers, harvested nearly 200 pounds of fresh Cascade hops that have since been used to brew Canal Park’s Wet Hops Harvest Ale, 2013. The 200 pounds of hops will produce 35 kegs of beer (4340 pints) that will be ready in about two weeks.
Using local hops benefits everyone involved. Canal Park, for one, gets the opportunity to use the freshest hops available in their beer — and not only the freshest hops, but hops with unique flavor characteristics inextricably linked to the local farmland it was grown on (winemakers have known about this concept for centuries, they call it terroir). Second, Hilltop Hops owner Paul Riordan gets one step closer to fully realizing his dream job as a hop farmer (this was his first commercial harvest). These symbiotic relationships also encourage other parts of the local economy to get in on the action. Already, a farm in Cromwell, MN is using spent grain from local breweries to feed cows, whose manure, in turn, is used as fertilizer on Hilltop Hops farm. And last, and perhaps most importantly as the consumers, we get fresh, local beer unique to where we live.
More on the story here.