High Hops Brewery - The Golden One
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):12
Serving Temperature:42-47º F
Suggested Glassware:Pint Glass or Mug
Malts:Pilsen, Wheat, Flaked Maize
This intriguing ale from High Hops is brewed with the addition of lemon verbena and coriander. On the pour, it presents a pale golden straw color that’s slightly hazed, topped with a head of white foam. On the nose, it’s pretty clear right away that there’s a spice element to this brew. Look for a very fragrant and quite brightly citric profile thanks to the special additions working alongside Cascade hops, complemented by a secondary herbal quality from the coriander and floral overtones from the hops. The theme continues on the palate where a vivacious herbal character makes itself known right away without going too far. The malt core is simple but satisfying, offering just a hint of sweetness, while hop bitterness remains low. Thankfully, the brewers have used the beer’s special additions to add character and intrigue without knocking us over the head, and the end result reminds us of certain Belgian ale styles, particularly witbier given the coriander and citrus notes. More distantly, we’re even reminded of certain gruit ales – a form of beer that predates the use of hops and relies on spices and other botanicals for bitterness and flavor. For pairing options, we’d lean into the theme with grilled lemon pepper chicken, Thai lemongrass soup, coriander & cumin rubbed pork chops, or even gingersnap cookies. Cheers!
Among all the breweries we’ve featured in the club over the last almost three decades, High Hops Brewery is unique, being located inside a garden center. While that may seem odd at first, it all makes sense given the path the founders took to get where they are today. It all started in 1991 when Pat and Amanda Weakland opened a small seasonal greenhouse known as Plant-A-Scape in Windsor, CO. In 2001, the business expanded into a garden center known as The Windsor Gardener. Then, fatefully, in 2007 a national hop shortage spurred Pat – a homebrewer – into planting his own hop farm on the 15-acre property, boasting 14 different varieties. Why worry about finding hops to buy when you can simply grow your own? The hop farm led to the establishment of a homebrew supply shop, which morphed into an actual 10-barrel brewery and a 6-tap tasting room. Opening in October of 2012, High Hops (perhaps the greatest name possible for a Colorado hop farm turned brewery) hit the ground running and quickly added a bottling line, beer garden, and ultimately a canning line.
Today, High Hops has matured into a 30-barrel brewery with 40 taps, and they’ve taken home a coveted GABF Gold Medal (for a gluten-free sour ale). They produce several year-round brews as well as a rotating selection of seasonals. Additionally, in 2018 they opened The Heart Distillery, which produces a line of gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, and absinthe which have won a large multitude of awards, including Double Platinum & Best in Category at the 2022 ASCOT Awards for their 123-proof cask strength Small Batch Bourbon. Hard seltzers and canned cocktails have followed. And, it’s all a family affair as Pat and Amanda’s grown children are also key figures in the trio of businesses, with son Zach serving as head brewer/distiller and daughter Rachel handling bookkeeping and marketing. For more info on High Hops Brewery and this dynamic family enterprise, check them out at www.highhopsbrewery.com.
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