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The hops are coming! The hops are coming!

August 18, 2009
Bags of freshly picked wet hops like this were delivered this morning to Harpoon.

Bags of freshly picked wet hops like this were delivered this morning to Harpoon.

Actually, the hops were already here when I got to work this morning. It has been an especially fragrant day here at the brewery. About 1,800 pounds of freshly picked hops (a.k.a. “wet hops”) arrived this morning at the brewery around 7:30 am for the brew of the 2009 Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Glacier Harvest Wet Hop Ale. The hops were picked just yesterday at Pedersen Farms in Seneca Castle, NY and delivered immediately via refrigerated truck to Boston. They came delivered in a bevy of muslin bags. Glorious. They kind of look like bags of mini artichokes, but prettier…and with more promise. I got the chills when I opened up our cooler door and saw mounds of the fresh hops stacked on pallets awaiting the brew. Mounds of them.

Getting the bags of wet hop tied up in the whirlpool. Temperature inside the whirlpool was 125 degrees F today!

Getting the bags of wet hop tied up in the whirlpool. Temperature inside the whirlpool was 125 degrees F today!

Ray Dobens is brewing the wet hop ale again this year. Ray came up with the original recipe a couple years ago. Today he has enlisted the help of another one of our great brewers, Katie Tame, to get it done. It is quite a process and it’s an awful lot of fun to see. I just ran over to the brewhouse to check where they were in the brew and to get a quick status report. There were a lot of bags of hops hanging in the whirlpool, but no Ray and Katie. I finally found them eating pizza from Sal’s in the lunch room (in the dark, by the way, as we have turned all of our lights off here at the brewery to help the grid out on this hot day). Speaking of the heat, Ray and Katie have spent most of their day in the whirlpool tank tying up bags of hops – it must have seemed like it was well over 125 degrees in that tank! And you thought you were hot today. They deserve a slice of pizza or two if you ask me. Not to mention that they’ve been here brewing since 5:45 am and will probably be here well into the evening. Remember that when you’re holding a pint of this masterpiece in a couple weeks.

Harpoon Brewer Ray Dobens

Harpoon Brewer Ray Dobens

I asked Ray to give me a status report on the brew and – after he swallowed his pizza – he asked that I pass along this message to you: “I am thinking of your palates while I am brewing this beer.” Those were his exact words. I mean… what a guy.

My co-workers just left to go to the tap room and get a beer. I put in an order for a Leviathan IPA. A hot day like today warrants a big beer, don’t let anyone tell you different. Though a UFO White sounds pretty dang good right about now too. Maybe it’ll be a two-beer night for me tonight. Oh, the decisions!

The 2009 100 Barrel Series Glacier Harvest Wet Hop Ale will be ready in a mere two weeks so be on the lookout for it. Of course, we’ll let you know when it has been released. We will also be posting some more thoughts from Ray about this beer. In the meantime, go out and grab some fresh, locally-brewed beer and have some fun. I’m planning on it.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. jeremyx permalink
    August 19, 2009 1:10 AM

    Cannot wait! Loved the story of the first time this was brewed — no nonsense pantyhose!

  2. Matt Donato permalink
    September 16, 2009 4:27 PM

    Will any of the Glacier Harvest Wet Hop make its way to Chicago, or will I have to fly back to Boston?

    • September 16, 2009 5:30 PM

      Yeah – we have shipped this 100 Barrel Series beer to our distributor in Chicago. Give Chicago Beverage Systems a call to find out where you can locate it.

  3. chris payne permalink
    September 19, 2009 7:19 PM

    Will the glacier harvest wet hop make it down to Sarasota/Bradenton FL area?

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