Way back in the Spring of 2017 we brewed a dry-hopped farmhouse sour beer with 44 lbs of Pacifica, a hop variety grown in New Zealand.
If you pay much attention to my line of beers, you know how much I hate to waste great flavors. So when we were cleaning the hops out of the tank, I couldn’t help but notice how much flavor and aroma was still left. It quite literally filled our little brewery with citrus and orange marmalade smells. It got me to thinking and creating in my mind so we saved 5 gallons of the spent hops to experiment with. Well, after 5 months in the cooler, I never got around to using them so I threw them away and moved on.
But that idea was always banging around in my head and now that I’m producing more beers with spent fruit and leftover wine pomace, it roared back to a vibrant life. So with the production of this year’s DDH Hopfenstopfen Blend5, I had the perfect opportunity to try out my idea. I basically followed the Hopfenstopfen through the brewery with a super-clean lactic sour Berlinerweiss. So after the Hallertau Blanc, a German/American hybrid, gave up its initial round of flavors, I racked the Hopfenstopfen off these hops and onto the second round of hops. Then I immediately racked the Berlinerweiss right on top of the first hops. The second beer was half the volume of the first, allowing the ‘leftover’ flavors and aromas of the hops a little magnification.
After a week of contact, I repeated the process with the American El Dorado hops for the second round of dry-hopping. This one I gave 10 days’ contact time to give a little more depth and character.
All that boils down to crafting a beer with big flavors that manage to balance one another in a delicate dance on your palate. The multiple fruit aromas from the two hop varieties blend together into one, complex nose of fruitiness. The Berlinerweiss is clean and moderately tart so the ‘sourness’ doesn’t overpower the hops. What gets poured into your glass is light, flavorful and goes down smooth. Flavors linger on your palate, aromas fill the air and this is a beautiful drinking experience.
I named this beer Star Full of Skies and the artwork is from a painting of the same name I did a few years ago. This is the third release, or Blend, of Star Full of Skies and, in my opinion, the best by a mile. If you like hoppy beers, there is enough aroma and a hint of bitterness to satisfy you. If you enjoy sour beer, the lactic tartness will tickle your tastebuds. If you just appreciate thoughtful beer in general, pull up a barstool, I'd like to meet you.
Unfortunately I won’t be bottling any of DDH Star Full of Skies Blend3. One 15 gallon keg will be available exclusively in our downtown tasting room beginning Thursday, July 18 at 4pm and throughout the weekend. Draft pours are 6.75 and if you wish to take some home, we’ll be filling 32oz growlers for 16.25 and 64oz growlers for 27. I’ll also be working Saturday, July 20 from 11-5 so I look forward to sharing this beer personally with you.
Pucker to the People