I love fresh hop beers. Not just how they taste, but the whole concept. I can’t really explain my visceral attraction to fresh hop beers except to simply say I love them. It’s not rational. That said, this particular brewery has taken it one step further.
Atwood Ales Farm Brewery, located in Blaine, Washington, is exactly what it sounds like: a brewery on a farm. And guess what? Among other things, they grow hops on the farm. So when the fresh hop season rolls around, they just stroll out into their own hop yard and get some hops. Check out the beer finder on their website to locate a source for Atwood Ales’ fresh hop beers.
Here’s the story straight from the source.
Atwood Ales Farm Brewery in Blaine, WA is set to release two fresh hops ales produced using hops harvested from their own hopyard, just hundreds of feet away from their brewhouse. Flashback to early September, when several groups of volunteers assisted the Smith family with the hand-harvesting and processing of nearly 60 hops plants. While the bulk of the harvest was dried and packaged in order to supply a large portion of the brewery’s hops needs for the coming year, dozens of pounds of freshly picked Tettnang and Centennial hops made their ways into two different ales that will be released on Saturday, October 7th at the Bellingham Farmers Market and subsequently to bottle shops, tap houses, markets, and restaurants in the Puget Sound region.
“We use as much as we can from our farm,” said Monica Smith, director of sales and marketing, “and we anticipate that this year’s hops harvest will fulfill about 60% of our hops needs for the coming year.”
The small, artisanal brewery churns out unique French and Belgian inspired farmhouse-style ales, saisons and sours that are much less hop-heavy than the IPAs and pale ales typically associated with the Pacific Northwest. Focusing on farmhouse-style beers allows brewer Josh Smith to stretch their small hops crop pretty far.
“If we were brewing IPAs, our hops would be gone in a matter of months,” said Josh, “but because of the styles we brew and how we choose to use hops in our brewing process, we’re able to incorporate our estate grown hops into almost every beer we brew.”
In addition to growing hops on their farm, the Smith family also grows a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that they use in their farmhouse ales. They also forage for other ingredients, such as nettles, flowers and berries. What they can’t grow on their property, they try to source locally when possible, including using Skagit Valley Malt as the base for all of their beers.
“With Off the Bine, our new fresh hops pale ale, we’ve taken local beer to another level by using 100% locally grown and processed ingredients from within 50 miles of our brewery,” said Monica Smith.
Off the Bine uses their estate-grown Cascade hops in the kettle and estate-grown fresh Centennial hops, picked less than 18 hours before use, in the whirlpool and hopback.
The new batch of Atwood’s continually rotating saison, Mo’s Saison, is made with estate-grown fresh Tettnang hops this time around. “Tettnang aren’t exactly the first hops that come to mind when you think of fresh hops beers,” said Josh Smith, “but they’re a fitting choice for use in a saison, where the spicy and herbal notes play well with the yeast character of the beer.” While this beer does incorporate some European character malts and Yakima Valley hops, over 90% of the ingredients in Mo’s “Freshies” Saison were sourced within 50 miles of the brewery, including Skagit Valley Malt and Atwood’s own estate-grown hops. Mo’s Saison was selected as a finalist for “Best Saison in
Washington” by Seattle Magazine in July 2017.
About Atwood Ales Farm Brewery
Atwood Ales Farm Brewery, Blaine’s first and oldest brewery, is located in a 100-year-old barn on a family-owned and operated farm, just 18 miles north of Bellingham. Opened in Spring of 2016, the farm grows ingredients for the on-site brewery, which produces a variety of ales inspired by French and Belgian farmhouse brewing traditions. While the brewery is closed to the general public, Atwood Ales’ bottle-conditioned beers are available every Saturday at the Bellingham Farmers Market, and in bottles and on draft at select locations around Puget Sound, from Vancouver, BC to Tacoma, WA. Learn more at atwoodales.com.
Mo’s “Freshies” ABV 5.8%
Fresh Hops Saison 750ml Bottle Conditioned & Limited Draft
A new, harvest-season riff on our rotating saison, brewed for my beauty wife. We’ve taken our light and refreshing saison and added a completely reasonable amount of our fresh, estate grown Tettnang hops to the boil, whirlpool and hopback. The fresh hops bring lots of green grass to the game, as well as the traditional spicy, herbal flavors associated with this hops variety. It’s most definitely NOT an IPA, and you’ll be tasting the mild spice and fruit character from our house saison yeast alongside the fresh hops character.
*Mo’s Saison – Finalist, “Best Saison in Washington” – Seattle Magazine, July 2017
Off the Bine ABV 5.5%
Estate Fresh Hops Pale Ale 500ml Bottle Conditioned & Limited Draft
This classic American pale ale uses only classic American ingredients, grown within 50 miles of our brewery. Brewed using 100% Skagit Valley malts and 100% estate-grown Cascade and Centennial hops. Our fresh hops pale ale utilizes our Cascade hops for bittering, flavor and aroma additions in the kettle, and our fresh Centennial hops for whirlpool and hopback additions. Our estate grown hops travel a distance of just 100 yards from our hopyard to our brew kettle, and were hand processed by our family and a group of dedicated volunteers. Like our other beers, this one is about striking a balance of flavors while still featuring our best estate-grown ingredients. Farm to table, bine to glass.
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