CRYSTALLION DROPS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12 AT DC BRAU ONLY
The Latest Brewery-Exclusive Dock Release Features Freshly Harvested Crystal Hops from Hop Head Farms in Michigan
Washington, DC — Among the vineyards that fill the mid-September air near the shores of Lake Michigan with the smell of ripening grapes, it’s harvest season at Hop Head Farms in Baroda, Michigan. DC Brau’s production manager, Chris Graham, made a special trip to the farm to pick up 300 pounds of freshly harvested, un-dried Crystal hops for the brewery’s latest dock release. Exactly 24 hours after cramming two huge plastic totes into the back of his car, Graham and the DC Brau team were in the brewhouse brewing Crystallion, a fresh hop ale, which will be available exclusively at the brewery starting Friday, October 12th at 2pm.
“Hop Head Farms has a great team — with great noses,” says Graham. “They have been dependable partners who we trust to make difficult decisions during hop selection overseas, and we’re excited to be using their Crystal hops literally just off the vine for this project.”
While this isn’t the first wet hop the brewery has produced, they are rare.
“Wet hop beers are fun to brew. We turn our mash tun into a hop-back for the day and fill it with 300 pounds of hops, post-boil. Wort gets pumped over top of the fresh hops and then sent to the whirlpool,” he explains. “We’d never normally operate this way, so it breaks the mold both in production, and in flavor. The earthy, green, grassy character you get from most wet hops brews are impossible to get any other way.”
Much like grapes, hops derive flavors and aromas from the terroir where they’re grown. The team is especially excited to use Michigan-grown Crystal hops, which tend to have a more rounded profile with a distinct lemon note.
“Crystal is a hop variety that is widely known, but doesn’t always get the respect it deserves,” says DC Brau co-founder & Head Brewmaster Jeff Hancock. “It has attractive notes of lemon, orange peel and lemongrass balanced by a noble, woodsy character. The simple malt bill of this beer lets the hops be the star of the pint.”
Crystallion is a hazy pale-gold IPA clocking in at 5.3% ABV that reveals flavors of fresh cut grass, lemon pith, and honeydew with medium carbonation and a mouthfeel that will have your palate riding off into the sunset. As with all wet hop beers, in order to get the maximum impact of the delicate flavors, Crystallion is best when consumed VERY fresh.
The brewery will offering 4-packs of 12 oz cans ($11.99/pk), with a limited supply of draft, exclusively in the tasting room starting on Friday, October 12th at 2pm.
This is the latest DC Brau beer featuring hops from Hop Head Farms. The farm sources all the Tradition hops used in the Brau Pils from Germany, and they were collaborators along with Firestone Walker Brewing Company on the Green Card Pale Ale brewed back in 2017. For more information on DC Brau, visit www.dcbrau.com, and follow on social media @dcbrau.
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