on Minnesota hops

A reader posted this question to the “About” page of this blog:

I’m curious about your thoughts of the hops industry, or lack thereof in MN. It seems that there are breweries opening every month, but virtually no one in MN is growing hops at even a semi-commercial scale. Do you think this is a needed industry in MN, and do you think that the local brewers would prefer to brew with locally sourced hops?

… and as I’ve written and rewritten my thoughts on this, the response turned into something that needed more than a one-paragraph reply to a thread on a different topic.  Continue reading

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basecamp sour 2012: the Brettcurrant edition

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Truth in advertising – deep down, I really only truly love a fruit beer if it’s also sour or wild or Brett-influenced, something more than just a fruit beer. That’s just the way Crom made me.

Which isn’t to say I can’t appreciate a well-made straight-ahead fruit beer, but, sour or not, I do feel that the fruit should reflect the beer’s provenance – the fruit adds another layer of reality to beer as an agrarian product and an extension of its time, people, and place.

Every great meadmaker I’ve ever met, from Ken Schramm to Curt Stock, has espoused the use of high quality, local fruit when making melomel, and that philosophy translates very well when brewing sour and wild ales.

With all that out of the way, this, then, is the story of what happened to the B portion of Basecamp Sour 2012. Continue reading