As we noted the other day in our first story about fresh-hop beers coming from New Mexico breweries, only a handful of places had responded before I hit publish on ye ole WordPress. Since then, three more breweries (two in collaboration, technically) shared what they have coming up, another hinted a beer might be coming, and a few more said not this year.
First, those saying not this year included Marble, Ponderosa, ReSource, Santa Fe, Steel Bender, and perhaps most surprising, Beer Creek. The reason the latter surprised us was that Beer Creek’s owners are part owners of Cross Sabers Hop Farm. Per co-owner Matt Oler’s comments on Facebook, the yield of hops this year was low, due to the drought and excessive heat, so the brewing staff decided it was best to dry the hops so they could be used in future batches of Beer Creek’s all-New Mexico lineup of brews (those made with locally grown hops, malt, and yeast).
We had not really considered the possible limitation of available fresh hops in New Mexico, but consider the scorching summer we all barely endured, it certainly makes sense that the local yield was limited statewide.
Oh, and Bow & Arrow head brewer Ted O’Hanlan said he may, or may not, have a fresh-hop beer coming, but he warned us that it will not be anything typical like a pale ale or an IPA.
Anyway, rather than just conclude this story on a sad note, we did have two more to share that will be coming out in the next few weeks.
Just as last time, we asked four questions, and these were the responses we received from Turtle Mountain head brewer David Pacheco and Rowley Farmhouse Ales owner John Rowley.
NMDSBC: Are you making a fresh hop beer?
Turtle Mountain: We did do a fresh hop beer. This is in collaboration with Toltec Brewing Co. We’re going to call it Tortuga de Tolteca.
Rowley Farmhouse Ales: We are doing two wet hop beers. One is a mixed fermented gose from one of our foeders, aged on wild Neomexicanus hops from the Taos area picked recently by Johnny from the Shed Project. This beer will be bottled and Johnny will receive the lot of it for his dinners. We also got a mix of Neo1 and Multihead from Randall at Sherrog Hops, and we will be wet hopping a portion of our upcoming beer, Luminoso, which is an Italian-style pilsner.
NMDSBC: What’s the general time frame for releasing that beer?
TMBC: It’ll be tapped by end of next week.
RFA: The Luminoso will be tapped September 5 for the fifth anniversary party.
NMDSBC: What hop(s) did you use, and where did you get them from?
TMBC: Chinook from La Capilla Hop Farm in La Cienega.
RFA: (see previous reply)
NMDSBC: Brewers, what in your opinion makes fresh-hop beers so darn good?
TMBC: We feel fresh-hop beers give you a much more natural flavor experience, and the proximity of consumer to producer is just that much closer, (and) gives it a more intimate feeling.
Once again, a big thank you to all who took the time to reply to us this week. We are quite excited to try these new fresh-hop beers in addition to what has already appeared (there are still cans and draft of Freshly Hopped Mass Ascension IPA at Ex Novo, FYI).
Keep supporting local!