The hop harvest. It only comes once a year, and to celebrate this limited time event, breweries roll out some of their hoppiest creations — harvest, wet or fresh hop beers — recipes brewed with a late addition of whole cone hops just picked hours before from the farm and bine and rushed to the brewery. Harvest beers have enormous hoppy profiles, and we all know hop heads have an insatiable thirst for lupulin brews. So, a question: What if you could create those fresh hop beers all year round?
Let us introduce you to Blue Lake Hops and The Blue Lake Process. Moments after harvest, Midwest-grown hops are rushed into a refrigerated truck and sent off to a Detroit facility for specialized cryogenic preservation. Cascade, Michigan Chinook, Michigan Copper, Crystal and beyond, Blue Lake Hops supplies a variety of frozen fresh hops to breweries looking to experiment with their brands, and these hops have an impressive shelf life.
“After several years, we can still open up a Cascade packaging from the 2018 harvest and it’s still fresh,” explained Jim Schlichting, owner of Blue Lake. “We packaged them at 74 percent moisture, and we open them now and they’re still at anywhere from 65 to 70 percent moisture, depending on the sample.”
The Blue Lake Process natural hop products allow access to fresh off-the-bine hops for use by craft breweries and homebrewers seeking to create harvest-style beers without the limitations of time-sensitive seasonal availability. I’ll actually be doing a deep dive with Schlichting and Blue Lake Hops in a big feature posting soon, but there was mention of free samples, and well, free samples deserve their own post.
“The largest quantity of samples we have are 1 kilo or 2.2-pound bags,” said Schlichting. “We tailored those towards the homebrewers because that’s where the market was a year ago. We also have some 5 ½-pound packaging for some of the product. We’re willing to put together the number of packages that a brewer says they need to do their test runs. All we ask is that we get a comment in a return — good, bad or indifferent and why”
Seems like a pretty solid deal. Contact Blue Lakes Hops right here.