Q: How many hop varieties are there?
Scott: This is a difficult question as it changes every year! In 2014 in Washington, 31 different cultivars accounted for 77% of the acres planted. Craft brewing has really changed the make-up of types that are have been planted recently. When you consider hops across the globe, there are probably 100 to 125 genetically different hop types in commercial production.
Q: What time of year do you harvest hops?
Scott: Mid-August to late September in the Northern Hemisphere
Mid-February to early April in the Southern Hemisphere
Recently, we handpicked hops at a local hop farm, Fort Collins Hop Acres, to add to a juicy pale ale as part of our bridge series beers. Here is what Scott has to say about this upcoming brew:
Q: What kind of hops were used in Hand Picked Pale Ale?
Scott: For Hand Picked Pale Ale, we used a variety of hops in the kettle. We used all Colorado Chinook from Fort Collins Hop Acres in the hopback.
The Chinook plants that were harvested at Fort Collins Hop Acres were planted in 2012 from rhizomes originating from Summit Plant Labs in Fort Collins. Summit Plant Labs also supplies the hop plants in our backyard at the brewery. This is the 3rd harvest season Odell Brewing Co. has purchased these hops from Fort Collins Hop Acres. This year, we took a large group of co-workers out to observe the harvest process with the Fort Collins Hop Acres Wolfpicker. (Wolfpicker is the name of the machine that picks the hops from the bines.) Chinook hop was developed by the USDA from a cross made in 1974. Its ancestry includes English types Petham Golding and Brewer’s Gold.
Q: What kind of flavors can we expect in Hand Picked?
Scott: Hand Picked will have notes of peach rings, lemon and stone fruit with a bit of garlic and floral tones.
Handpicked Pale Ale will be available in our tap room starting Friday, October 2. In late August, the Odell Brewing team ventured about 20 miles north of the brewery to help harvest hops from Fort Collins Hop Acres. Within 24 hours, 600 pounds of fresh local Chinook cones were bathed in hot wort as it made its way from the kettle through the hopback. It’s a labor of love and treat for the palate!