What’s the difference between a hopyard and field of weeds? It’s the trellis system.
It wasn’t until our brewing forefathers learned how to grow hops on a trellis, away from the damp soil and exposed to the sun, that the wild plant known as Humulus lupulus became a cultivated crop and one of the key ingredients in beer.
A hopyard trellis will last for five decades or longer. But ever once in a while, you need to get down in the dirt and do some repairs.
With no hops growing and the rhizomes dormant underground, winter is the best time for hopyard repairs.
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Recently we followed Rogue Ales brewmaster John Maier as he hand-picked Freedom Hops fresh off the bine at the Rogue Farms Micro Hopyard in Independence, Oregon and then immediately drove them 77 miles to the brewery in Newport, Oregon. We are pleased to announce that Chatoe Rogue Wet Hop Ale has been brewed and bottled and is now available at www.rogue.com/store/
We Grow Hops. Taste the difference.
The Rogue Farms GYO Dream Pumpkins have been harvested! Rogue Ales Pumpkin Patch Ale will be available worldwide in a new orange painted 750ml bottles in Fall 2012. Rogue is dedicated to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, pumpkins and barley one acre at a time, by growing its own. YouTube Video: http://youtu.be/-ub6NoWXbac
The Rogue Dare Pumpkins have been picked from the Hopyard and have arrived at the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport, Oregon. Christina, our brewmaster from the Rogue Ales Public House Eugene, has joined in on the fun – washing and cutting open the pumpkins and then chopping them up into chunks in preparation for roasting.
The average Rogue Farms Dream Pumpkin weighs 5 lbs and 5,217 lbs were brought to the brewery from the Rogue Farm. Still covered in dirt, each pumpkin needed to be washed prior to being chopped, scraped, roasted and brewed.
After a thorough cleaning, the pumpkins have their stem removed and are chopped into smaller pieces using the official Rogue Pumpkin Slicer – the machete. Each slice needs to have the pulpy interior removed and leave only the good part, the outer shell of the pumpkin.
The Dream Pumpkins are then roasted in the Rogue Nation Pizza Oven (tray by tray) for about 45 minutes each. After all the pumpkins have been roasted, they are pitched directly into the lauter tun for brewing. We brew the Chatoe Pumpkin Patch Ale with ginger, vanilla bean, cinnamon and nutmeg. Look for it on shelves starting this October. When you grow it, you know it. From ground to glass, patch to batch, Rogue grows its own.
Farming is hard enough without having your crop destroyed by some slimy, hermaphroditic gastropods. We originally planted the 15 acres of Dream Rye in November 2011, only to see it wiped out in less than a day by hungry slugs. So we declared “War On Slugs” and plowed, disced, harrowed and drilled the field again this spring.
Our first growth field of Dream Rye turned out better than anyone expected considering the slugs. When the final step of the Dream Rye harvest got underway last week, the rye had already been swathed, that is raked into rows. It needed some time to lie in the field and dry out before the combine went in and threshed and winnowed the seed.
The field is swathed, or raked into rows.
The combine as it comes through the field to thresh and winnow the grain.
So what are we going to do with all this rye? Rogue Ales will be brewing its first rye beer: Chatoe Rogue Roguenbier Rye tastes of the rich alluvial soils, magical combination of sun and rain, and the cooling breezes of the Van Duzer corridor that define the terroir of the Wigrich Appellation.
Chatoe Rogue Roguenbier Rye will be available in bottles and on draft in November. Also look for Rogue Rye Whiskey in 2013.