On July 26, we reported on what we believed was the first beer brewed in SD County this summer, with hops fresh from a farm that morning. Every year, Nickel Beer Co’s Tom Nickel coordinates with Eric Marsh from Star B Ranch to try to kick off the season.
Well, it turns out that Miralani Makers’ District brewery Thunderhawk Alements beat Nickel by three days.
To craft a ten-barrel wet hop version of their English pale ale Liberty’s Teeth, Thunderhawk’s Bill Lindsay worked with Solo Salsido of El Cajon’s Hopmentation Farm to harvest Nugget and Cascade hops for the brew kettle.
“This beer uses English Ale yeast which has some nice subtle esters that complement most wet hops,” said Thunderhawk’s Jonathan Barbarin. “We also split this beer into kegs containing different wet hop varieties, including Chinook, Cascade, and Brewer’s Gold. The flavor and aroma from the secondary wet hopping creates some incredible, diverse flavors. Chinook hops created an herbal, dill, sweet Tzatziki profile. Cascade is probably the most bitter of the bunch, with lemon peel and earth, finishing with a subtle dank bitterness. The Brewer’s Gold was the fruitiest of the bunch, projecting a strong aroma of honeydew melon rind, with the flavor to match. One of the most interesting parts of drinking a pint of these wet hop beers is the slightly sticky mouthfeel from the copious amounts of hop oils, without leaving a cloying bitterness.”
At time of press, the Chinook version was still available, with more varieties on the way.