It was Thursday, August 27th and there was cause for celebration at Deschutes Brewery. The previous day and well into the night we had brewed six batches of Hop Trip, a fresh hop pale ale. Things had gone flawlessly. Around 8:30 am on Wednesday brewmaster Larry Sidor and senior brewer Jimmy Seifrit phoned the Huppmann brewhouse. They had spent the night in the valley and gotten themselves to Sodbuster farms at the crack of dawn to help oversee the care of our special ingredient. They informed us that 4200 pounds of fresh Crystal hops were nestled into 32 cherry bins. These were currently being loaded onto a truck bound for Bend. The first Hop Trip was mashed in at 9:35 am. Each of the six brews received 700 pounds of fresh hops, spread between the third and fourth additions (late in the boil for aroma). The last Hop Trip was safely in the fermenter by 1:48 am Thursday.
We only get to brew this beauty once a year. Due to the nature of fresh hops, we only have one chance to get it right. As one might imagine, a year’s worth of anticipation can cause a high level of excitement and agitation. So when everyone came back Thursday to the news that the brewing had gone through the night without a hitch, the party was on. There is even a legend building around this year’s batch. When head brewer Brett Porter’s wife Amy heard how good the Crystals were, she went ahead and had a baby boy. According to the burgeoning legend, this happened at almost precisely the same moment we were mashing in the first brew. We brewers lobbied hard for the name Crystal Tripp, but it looks like they went with something a tad more traditional. Oh well, can’t win em all, I guess. Congrats to the Porter family, and cheers to all.
John “Abe” Abraham, Brewer