Hops for 2010

Christmas came early this year, and the stinky box of joy was full of gold foil surprises. For loose-leaf brewers cuts I have a brick of Cascades (8.7% alpha this year!) and a brick of Simcoes (11.8%). We all know about Cascades, but I’ve not used Simcoes for a few years and really like them. Great for a single-hopped IPA.

For pellets, I scored the following.

  • Newport (9.8% alpha)
  • Sterling (7.0% alpha)
  • Millennium (17.4%)
  • Horizon (12%)
  • Santiam (6.1%)
  • Crystal (4.3%)
  • Amarillo (8.2%) drool
  • Palisades (8.0%)

Thanks to my connection (father-in-law) and his at Hop Union.

Holiday Ale Fest 2009

I like my space, so the Holiday Ale Fest each year means that I need to simply get used to bumping in to people and spilling some beer for a little while. Like most festivals, I’ve made a habit of taking some work time off to visit before the crowds get too massive. This year was a quick affair; Michelle and I were only able to attend for about an hour before taking MAX home to pick up kids. We were fortunate to meet up with Curtis, Liz, Kevin, Ryan, and Michelle’s coworker Tim for several samples. Nothing we had was bad, and thanks to the early-ish arrival, no beer was bumped and spilled.

My favorites were Cascade Brewing’s Sang Noir, HotD’s Jim 2009, and possibly Oakshire’s Very Ill Tempered Gnome or New Belgium’s La Folie. Each was very different, and surprisingly good out of a plastic cup. The last beer I sampled was Upright’s Holy Herb, and it was unlike anything I’ve had before and I’m still not exactly sure what happened in my mouth. I meant to get over to Saraveza and try it again, but I think I may have missed it. I’m not going to try and describe it until I get a second opinion that doesn’t come at the end of 6 big-beer samples.

We meant to get back and burn up our last tickets over the weekend, but alas, the furnace broke and thesis work needed doing.