After I checked on my own little hopyard in Alexandria, I hit the road for Hawksbill Cabin. I'd planned a stop by Beaver Run Brewery that afternoon for a little sampling of Dan's latest, plus a Saison I had brewed and the Starr Hill Pumpkin Porter that I had picked up at Bethesda Market. Of course, stopping by to see Dan and Sally often means a visit to the hopyard and then a cruise through the brewery to check out what's new - and so we did.
I opened this post with a photo of some of this years Fuggles hops. These are new bines, started from rhizomes one of the other valley brewers gave Dan. They have a distinct round cone, as opposed to the Cascades, which are shown in the second photo and are more conical. There are a couple of other varieties in the hopyard - Centennial, which didn't even come out of the ground for me and has rarely produced anything for Dan, Willamette, and Goldings...he may also have Hallertauer in the yard but I can't remember and would have to check past posts.
Dan has been keeping busy with the harvest. He told me he is getting about one pound of dried hop flowers from each plant, which seems like a good yield for his operation. He said he has four pounds already put away in the freezer, so he's stocked for his brewing requirements for a while.
We talked about all the pumpkin beers that have been showing up in stores this month. I wanted to try the porter I'd brought, but also wanted to see what he knew about pumpkin ale. I am going to get some local Page County pumpkins as soon as they are available, and brew a pale ale with them.
Before I close the post, I guess I should list out all the beers we tasted together sitting out on his flagstone porch, where Mary and Sally also joined us in the sun:
- Starr Hill Boxcar (Pumpkin Porter)
- Jim's Cynical Saison
- Beaver Run Pilsner
- Beaver Run IPA
- Beaver Run Imperial Whiskey Barrell Stout
Not bad considering most of that was homebrewed, eh?