For the last several weeks, every tap house and beer shop in the NW have been clamoring for fresh hop beer, a beer made exclusively with fresh or wet hops, that haven’t been kiln-dried. The undried hops give off earthy dank notes that can only be enjoyed once a year in the US. When Backwoods’ Kevin Waters and Jordan Tanasse met with Jonathan Grumbles, Laughing Planet’s Food & Beverage Director, it was clear that brewing a fresh hop together would not only be a ton of fun, but would also adhere to Laughing Planet’s mission of sourcing fresh local ingredients for their finished products.
The two companies coordinated a field trip out to B&D Farms in St. Paul, OR to bag up several hundred pounds of Citra hops. Citra is grown in the NW and is known for its tropical citrus notes, including grapefruit and melon. The staff toured the facility and saw first hand how the hops are picked and separated from the vine. “It was surprising to see how simple the process is, and very neat that they’ve been doing it that way for decades. My grandfather was a hop farmer years ago, and some of the methods he employed are still in use to this day,” said Jordan Tanasse of Backwoods Brewing.
Brewmaster, Kevin Waters, said of the collaboration, “One of our favorite things to do each year is go down to the hop farms. It reminds us why we do what we do. The sight and smells of the hops are a thing of beauty. Seeing the origins of the beers that so many people will get to enjoy is very cool, and being able to share it with the folks at Laughing Planet is icing on the cake!”
“The smell and taste of fresh hops is a delight I never expected,” said Simone, of Laughing Planet. “My beer drinking experience has been forever changed after getting to see how much attention goes into each element.”
The next day, another group of employees from Laughing Planet traveled out to Backwoods’ production facility in Stevenson, WA to help brew the beer. Afterwards, pizza and brews at the pub were enjoyed by all.
The Citra Fresh Hop IPA will be released at all OR Laughing Planet locations on Saturday, October 1st. It rings in at 6.5% ABV & 40 IBU, and is only available in draft. We hope you can make it out for some fresh local food and a super fresh, local IPA!
About Laughing Planet – The Laughing Planet approach to food is simple and straightforward, and looks like this: Get healthy, delicious food from the farm to your plate as quickly as possible, and in the least complicated way. Our menu offers an abundance of clean, whole foods, tons of fresh veggies, and surprising global flavors that range from the exotic to the sublime. We’re mindful of creating dishes that are packed with nutrition, while still offering maximum flexibility so that you can get exactly what you want, every single time.
About Backwoods Brewing Company – Backwoods is located in the heart of the Columbia Gorge, in the small town of Carson, WA. It was founded by the Waters family in 2012, as a single-barrel brewpub. They now operate on a 20-barrel system in their new Stevenson facility, making beer for both draft and package. Their focus is on balanced beers, such as the hop-forward Logyard IPA, that isn’t overly bitter on the finish. Backwoods works with local producers to source their hops, grain and yeast. The brewpub in Carson is open daily, from 11:30 – 9 PM.