Back in August, the Lost Rhino crew was invited to pick hops down at Whippoorwill Manor Farm in Madison County, Virginia. Some of us even went down the night before and had an awesome evening at the farm complete with some short hikes, a delicious roast pork for dinner, and a roaring fire later in the evening.
The hops on the farm were all Cascades, a variety that does the best in the sometimes warm Virginia summer and the shorter days compared to hops that are grown for example in Yakima or Upstate New York.
It was a really fun day, we picked hundreds of pounds of fresh hops that we immediately took to the brewery to use in our Hop Harvest 2014 Beer. Some of the hops was kept and dried by the owner of Whippoorwill Manor Farm for later dry-hopping.
We used the hops at several stages during the brewing process; during the mash, during the boil, in the whirlpool, and in the hop back. Then to finish it off, we dry hopped with the dried hops from the same farm.
We had help from Stan Driver of HootNHollerHops, he brought his small harvester out that we used during the day to remove the cones from the bines.
We fermented with a special in-house isolated ale yeast that drops nice and clear. The resulting beer has a great hoppy aroma, fresh hop flavor and a lingering bitterness that is not overwhelming. On draft at the brewery October 1st!