Last Thursday (11/17/22) I had the pleasure of joining my fellow home brewers and beer enthusiasts at Sierra Nevada in Mills River, NC to drink and talk beer. Below are the notes from that meeting. I highly encourage people to join MALT (Mountain Ale and Lager Tasters) or your local home brew club where you live to experience all things beer. The beer camaraderie is unmatched. We are so blessed and spoiled with the amount of fabulous brews, beer knowledge and expertise in Beer City USA.
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Here are the highlights from our November MALT meeting below:
"A good crew was on hand this past Thursday at Sierra Nevada to hear Scott Jennings (Head Brewer) and Seth Hewitt (Production Supervisor) discuss the history, challenges and joys of making their beloved annual fresh hop brew, Celebration Ale while enjoying the fresh beverage from the taps in the High Gravity room.
While many fascinating facts were shared through the evening, one of the more interesting factoids is the limitations that they face when making this beer. They shared the actual machinations necessary to hook twenty-six 8.5-pound sacks onto a stainless steel chain that runs the height of their 400-barrel fermenter filled with Centennial fresh hops, purging the tank with CO2 and then adding the wort for ten days.
By the time they remove these sacks, the entire chain and bags weighs over 1,000 pounds. They then let these sacks drip for a time and collect the “drippings”. These “drippings” will be available for only a few days, with a target date of being available this Monday. Filled with geraniol flavors and aromas from the Centennial hops, while not everyone’s cup of tea, they are worth checking out.
Celebration is not a “wet hop” beer, but a "fresh hop" beer; the hop cones have been dried but are used as quickly as possible to maximize the fresh hop flavors and aromas. Brewed over the course of 5 weeks or so, you want to enjoy this seasonal favorite while it is available!
Did you know?
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Celebration and Big Foot all use the same grains, hops and yeast, just in different amounts?"
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Evan Rosenberg Owner/Operator