Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lupulin Land Harvest Hopcoming omnibus preview: PR, beer descriptions, links and schedule.

We’ll again be exceeding OSHA’s legal limits on IBU’s per square foot of floor space when Lupulin Land Harvest Hopcoming 2008 begins on Friday, October 17. It is our seventh harvest hop celebration, and the occasion for Kentuckiana’s hopheads to unite over a pint or two of America’s most bitter beer and to banish thoughts of abominations like Milwaukee’s Blech to the nether regions formerly reserved for silver-bulleted sinners, Miller Lite miscreants, and Auggie Busch’s backyard brunch chardonnay sippers

Lupulus Eroticus.

The American Heritage dictionary defines lupulin as the “minute yellowish-brown hairs obtained from the strobili of the hop plant, formerly used in medicine as a sedative.” The word lupulin is derived from the new Latin lupulus (hop species, a diminutive of the Latin lupus, hop plant, from lupus, wolf). Credit Pliny the Elder, and if you ever visit Russian River Brewing Co. in California, drink the beer named for him.

Or, more simply: Bitterness beats watery flaccidity any old day.

Contrary to persistent rumors - probably spread by the same people who still insist that Bock beer is the result of brewing vats being cleaned once a year in springtime - beer is not “made” from hops. Beer is “made” from barley, and sometimes wheat and oats and rye. In short, beer is brewed from grain. The body and color of beer derives from these grains, and the alcohol is but a calling card left by yeast happily snacking on sugars in the malt.

Hops act as the spice of beer. Hops balance the inherent, malty sweetness. Hops provide the seasoning. Hops cleanse the palate and leave you begging for more. Hops make it interesting, and perhaps healthy as well: According to researchers for Japan’s Kirin Brewery, isohumulones, agents of bittering in hops, may help curb the development of fat in the human body.

Misconceptions about hops are annoying, persistent and entirely understandable. If one is to judge by the non-flavor profile of America’s best-selling mainstream lagers, it is certain that the majority of beer drinkers in our purportedly great nation are suffering from severe lupulin deprivation. It’s way past time to reverse that trend … just as bitterness, aroma and flavor.

Trellis succulence: Now more than ever, there is no exit strategy.

It’s always difficult to predict which of the beers described herein will pour and when, as typically the juggling of late arrivals and handling of always temperamental firkins require last-minute improvisation. However, here’s the list of what we believe will be featured during Lupulin Land 2008. Look on the blackboards to see what’s pouring on a particular day.

The Clipper City Hop 3 firkin will lead off on Friday, to be followed when depleted by BBC's Dank IPA at some point next week.

Randall the Enamel Animal will be crawling out from his lair to modify a beer, but to be truthful, we haven't decided when this appearance can be expected.

On Monday night, October 20, Scott Shreffler, Nick Vickery, and Kent Householder from Schlafly in St. Louis, MO, will be hosting a Schlafly Promo Night in Prost from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. There will be a drawing every 30 minutes for a bucket of Schlafly merchandise (t-shirt, hat, glassware, keychain, etc.) Schlafly Hop Harvest and India Brown will be on tap. The drawings begin just after 6:00 p.m.

Alpha King, Arrogant Bastard, Bell's Two Hearted and Sierra Nevada Pale will be pouring as always, alongside whichever NABC ales (Elector, Hoptimus, et al) that are ready when the clock strikes 11 on Friday morning).

LUPULIN LAND 2008 GUEST MICROBREWS
* signifies a first-ever draft appearance

*Allagash Hugh Malone
English two-row malt and pale crystal, with Simcoe hops added during “first wort hopping” as it is pumped into the kettle. Warrior hops go in when the boil begins. More Simcoe hops for aroma go in the whirlpool, and are used for dry hopping. 8.5 % abv.

Bluegrass Brewing Company (Main & Clay)
Dank India Pale Ale
Firkin. Brewer David Pierce sezs: Dankology! American-Style India pale ale characterized by intense hop bitterness and high alcohol content. Anamount of Simcoe and Amarillo hops are added, resulting in a crisp beer. Dank is deep gold with a full, flowery hop aroma and a strong hop flavor (in addition to hop bitterness). India pale ale has a medium malt backbone and a full body.Malts: Cargill Special Pale, Dingemann's Aromatic and Caramunich. Lupulin Land Twist: Additional dry-hopping with Amarillo. 80 IBU; 8% abv.

Boulder Mojo IPA
Founded in 1979, Boulder Beer Company is Colorado’s oldest microbrewery, although Mojo IPA did not become part of the product line until (circa) 2003. Amarillo and Centennial hops; 6.8 abv.

Breckenridge 471 Double IPA
From the Colorado micro’s small batch “471” series, with Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, and Fuggles. 70 IBUs, 9.2% abv.

*Browning’s Harvest Ale
As the program went to press, we learned that the Browning’s brewpub and Park Place restaurant has closed. Initial word from the Browning’s camp is that brewing will continue. Brewer Brian Reymiller says that his Harvest Ale has 7 malts and 7 hops, and was finished with maple syrup. 55 IBUs.

Browning’s She-Devil IPA
Reymiller’s training at Victory Brewing in Pennsylvania undoubtedly contributed to Louisville’s most talked about IPA in recent years … and the main reason why hopheads hope for the brewery’s continued existence.

Clipper City Loose Cannon Hop 3 Ale
Firkin. Taking a cue from Rogue’s I2PA, Hop 3 means “hop cubed.” English Pale, Carapils, and Munich malts provide underpinning, while Magnum, Centennial, Chinook, Amarillo and Palisade hops add zest. 7.25% abv.

Crooked Tree Double Crooked Tree IPA
The Michigan microbrewery does it the right way. Everything that goes into its “regular” IPA is doubled, except the water. The result is massive. 13.6% abv.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
At 9% abv and 90 IBUs, it should come as little surprise that a 12-oz serving boasts 294 calories. If that isn’t liquid bread, nothing is.

Founders Centennial IPA
As the name sensibly implies, expect abundant Centennial hops. There is a lower IBU count (48) than you might imagine in what amounts to a veritable “calibration” beer for American-style IPA.

*Founders Harvest Ale
Rave on-line reviews, but as yet, no chance to preview the draft version. I’ll be rectifying that first thing on Friday morning, October 17.

Founders Reds Rye
Ruby-red in color, thanks to four varieties of Belgian caramel malts. Malted rye adds bite. 100% Amarillo hops calculate to 68 IBUs, with 6.4% abv.

Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale
American-style Pale Ale brewed with “wet hops,” scheduled to be kegged in early October and boarding a truck soon after. With luck, we’ll have it ready for pouring by the end of October. Circa 5% abv.

*Left Hand Chainsaw “Double Sawtooth”
At 9% abv, Left Hand’s Chainsaw is the logical enhancement of its everyday Sawtooth. Northern Brewer and East Kent Goldings hops are featured.

NABC Fifth Anniversary
5 MALTS: Maris Otter, 2-row, Caramalt, Aromatic, Special B
5 HOPS: Simcoe, Saaz, Nugget, Galena, Centennial (80 IBUs)
YEAST: House London
Brewed in honor of NABc past, present and future. 5,555 second boil (92:35) and 5 hop additions. 10% abv

NABC Oaked Croupier
Dedicated to the workers at the Caesars Indiana riverboat casino in nearby Harrison County, and aged with oak chips. Circa 7.5% abv.

NABC Oaktimus
Oaktimus begins with Hoptimus, which is brewed with Simpson's Golden Promise malt; Northern Brewer, Fuggles and Cascades hops; and the house London yeast. Dry hopping with Fuggles and Cascades lends a West Coast feel to a powerful 9% double IPA, which we prefer consuming young and fiery, unless it is oak-aged, in which case Hoptimus becomes Oaktimus. It’s a different animal entirely, and as usual, one keg of it won’t last very long.

*New Holland Existential—Ale
The brewery promises “200 pounds per barrel ofAmerican-grown malted barley … 10 hop-strikes, totaling 37 ounces per barrel of American-grown hops.” That’s a start, isn’t it? 25.5 Plato, 10.5% abv.

Oaken Barrel Superfly IPA
Oaken Barrel is located in Greenwood, Indiana, which for us makes it the ideal stop before or after any journey to the state capital. It’s been a while since Superfly came to the Public House, but memories of Cascade goodness linger.

Rogue (John’s Locker Stock) Glen 2008
John Maier’s 4th edition of Glen again boasts Simpson Golden Promise as the base malt. Glen ’008 measures in at an original gravity of 18.1 Plato and 64 IBUs. Hops are Horizon, Simcoe and Amarillo for bittering, and Centennial for aroma.

Rogue (John’s Locker Stock) Double Dead Guy … “D2”
Rogue’s legendary John Maier explains: “D2 is the new reincarnation of our classic Dead Guy Ale. It is mahogany in color. It’s full bodied and has an amazing mid-palate richness of toffee and caramel. The hops are evident also, with just enough to keep the maltiness in check. Malts are 2 row, Munich and C15. Hops (boiling) Cascade, because I was out of Perle; aroma, Crystal (because I was out of sterling). 19.8 Plato; 4.9 Plato T.G.; 50-60 IBUs; circa 10% abv.”

*Schlafly Hop Harvest Ale
Our favorite St. Louis brewing company that isn’t owned by a multi-national Belgo-Brazilian conglomerate dry (wet?) hops this ale with freshly harvested Simcoe hops flown overnight from Hop Union, the famous hop merchant in Yakima, Washington.

*Schlafly India Brown Ale
Very little of this special edition ale made it out of St. Louis, and we saved our keg for Lupulin Land. Schlafly’s Tap Room brewer Brennan crafted India Brown to celebrate his marriage to Natasha. It’s brown in color, but hopped more like an IPA, especially in aroma, as it was dry hopped with Cascade and Willamette. 40 IBUs, 5.2% abv.

Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale
Last year at the ripe age of 27, Sierra Nevada released its Anniversary Ale nationally for the first time. Now it’s back. Two-row Pale, Caramel & Munich malts; Chinook (bittering) and Cascade (finishing and dry-hopping) hops; 46 IBUs and 5.9% abv.

*Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale
As an experiment, Sierra planted its own hop field on the brewery site. The local climate proved ideal, prompting another unique “wet hop” ale brewed with Chinook, Centennial and Cascade.

*Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale
Originally released in May, 2008, and using freshly harvested Pacific Hallertau, Motueka and Southern Cross hops from New Zealand. Consequently, SNSHHA is the first “fresh hop” ale to be available in the USA in spring. 66 IBUs and 6.7% abv.

Sierra Nevada Wet Hop Harvest Ale
Sierra’s pioneering “wet hop” ale, brewed with Centennial and Cascade, first passed the Publican’s lips twelve years ago at a brewers’ reception at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver … and I still look forward to it yearly. 60-65 IBUs and 6.7% abv.

Stone Ruination IPA
It’s time for a reality check when a 7.7% IPA with 100 IBU’s begins to seem meek by comparison to some recent entrants in the ever escalating “IPA multiples” competition … but it’s not passive at all, and not to be confused with fizzy yellow lawnmower beer.

*Three Floyds Alpha Naught
On-line reviews indicate that a previous batch of AN from 2004 leaned more in the direction of Barley Wine. This one, from earlier in 2008, is being described as a hop lover’s Double IPA panacea. We’ll know soon enough. Specs unavailable.

Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA
Different “wet hops” are used in different batches, but as this program went to press, we hadn’t yet determined which variety was used in our allotment. It will be posted when gleaned.

*Victory Hop Wallop
Described by the great PA brewery as its annual homage to hops, with American whole hops and imported German malts suggesting a stepped-up Hop Devil. 8.5% abv.

IMPORTED BEERS

Our seventh assemblage of hop-laden draft beers once again is dominated by American microbrews, although many more hoppy “Old World” beer styles than ever before. Here are four from Belgium ...

*Alvinne Extra
From the 5-barrel brew house at the Picobrouwerij Alvinne near Ingelmunster comes this “restyled” Belgian-style IPA with Chinook and Amarillo hops. 8% abv.

De Ranke XX Bitter
XX’s outspoken importer, Dan Shelton, has the last word: “You might say this beer is Orval with everything turned up to 11, which is exactly what the brewers were seeking.”

*Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor
"Hopsinjoor" is a pun for the four different hops used (Golding, Spalt, Hallertau and Saaz) and local Mechelen folklore in the form of the "opsinjoor" character. 8% abv.

Houblon Chouffe
Belgian beers aren’t hoppy? A new generation of Belgians are brewing well outside the stylistic box, and who better to lead the charge than the humble Ardennes gnome?

LINKS AND QUANTITIES

*Allagash Hugh Malone Ale 1/6 barrel
BBC (Main & Clay) Dank IPA (firkin)
Boulder Mojo IPA 1/2 barrel
Breckenridge 471 Double IPA 2 x 1/6 barrel
*Browning’s Brewery Harvest Ale 1/2 barrel
Browning’s Brewery She-Devil 1/2 barrel
Clipper City Heavy Seas Hop 3 (firkin)
Crooked Tree Double Crooked Tree IPA 1/6 barrel
Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA 1/2 barrel
Founders Centennial IPA 2 x 1/2 barrel
*Founders Harvest Ale 1/2 barrel
Founders Red’s Rye 1/2 barrel
Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale
*Left Hand Chainsaw 1/6 barrel
NABC Fifth Anniversary (V) ½ barrel
NABC Oaked Croupier ¼ barrel
NABC Oaktimus 2 x ½ barrel
*New Holland Existential - Ale 1/6 barrel
Oaken Barrel Superfly IPA 1/2 barrel
Rogue “John’s Locker Stock” Double Dead Guy 1/2 barrel
Rogue “John’s Locker Stock” Glen 2 x ½ barrels
*Schlafly Hop Harvest Ale 1/2 barrel
*Schlafly India Brown Ale ½ barrel
Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale 2 x ½ barrels
*Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale 1/2 barrels
Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale 2 x ½ barrels
*Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale 1/2 barrel
Stone Ruination IPA 1/2 barrel
*Three Floyds Alpha Naught ½ barrel
Two Brothers Heavy Handed 1/6 barrel
*Victory Hop Wallop 1/2 barrel

*Alvinne Extra 1/6 barrel
De Ranke XX Bitter 30 L
*Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor 2 x 1/6 barrels
Houblon Chouffe 2 x 20 L

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