It’s nice to finally have a beer come out without any significant flaws. Having three beers in a row get out from under me was starting to make me anxious!
This is the first beer I made from hops that were given to me by a friend. Hops I don’t know the variety of but who cares? Free hops are free.
And…it’s good but as I’ve been noting, fresh hop ales just aren’t that compelling.
However, there is a nice spiciness to this beer, both in the nose and on the finish. It’s not very forceful but it exists in just enough quantities to give this beer a little dimension. I’ve also used this with a chunk of wheat malt, which was to give the beer some body, something to stand on in case the hops didn’t work out. Fortunately, it’s unnecessary but as you might be able to glean from the photo, the beer isn’t extremely clear as a result of that. (I think).
I suppose you could call this beer a pale, although from a color perspective it doesn’t really look like it, from a hop perspective I feel I can safely put it in that category. Also important to note: while there seems to be a lot of hops in this beer by weight, those hops haven’t been dried out, so they’re all still full of moisture after being picked. Their overall impact on the beer is lessened because those hops are adding water to this beer where ordinarily they would not.
Brew date: 9.14.14
Steeping Grains: 2 lb white Wheat
Fermentables: 7 lb LME
Fresh mystery hops from friend!
2.5 oz @ in preboil
2.75 oz @60
2.5 oz @30
2.5 oz @ 10
2.5 oz @flamout
3rd use of German wheat ale yeast from Wyeast
Moved on 10.5, added 3/8th oz mystery hops to secondary
At long last, I have made it to the Hop and Vine. This space quickly garnered a high reputation for being awesome and I read at the New School blog that they had beer cocktails. After last week’s encounter with Hamm’s and Jager, I felt that I was due an opportunity of something better but along the same lines.
Alas, the beer cocktails are part of an event-one that will be repeated in November, so I shall keep my eyes out for it but until then I am stuck with just drinking what the fine gentleman at the bar is having; Bridgeport’s Hop Harvest. Brewed with fresh Centennial hops, this beer has a nice nose and a fine malt backbone that segues gently into a smooth, grassy finish. Very much a brew that is part of the reason people drink fresh hop ales, I think. Delicious.
The man who’s drink I’ve copied is known to me; he works at the Belmont Station and I’ve taken his suggestions for beer purchases before. We introduce ourselves and after I take a few notes I try to gently engage in some conversation. It’s his Sunday; I totally understand not wanting to be bothered on your day off, so I do my best to be polite and interested but not overly engaging.
Turns out he lives in the neighborhood and has a few things to tell me about local places like Prost or Saravesa and we’ve both been to Germany, him recently. We swap stories about drinking German beers and start on an hypothesis about hangovers; if you’re having a great time, even if you’re drinking quite a bit, the strength of your hangover is going to be diminished, possibly to the point of extinction. It was a fine conversation and I left feeling a little more connected to Portland than I was a bit before.
The Hop and Vine itself is a nice space. I could see taking it over with eight or so people and just having a ball but also good for the small groups with quiet chats. It’s a bit chilly though; it felt warmer outside than it did inside and in October this isn’t a good thing. Maybe it’s kept cool to keep the wine at an appropriate storage temperature?
Finally, it’s right in line with other local places, so it’s going to make a fine stop on a fantastic pub crawl. Prost, H&V, Lucky Lab, Saravesa; Who wants to join me?