Monday, July 27, 2009

Estate-brewed Beer

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has become one of the first American breweries to produce an estate-brewed beer. It all started in 2003 when they planted their first experimental hop yard. After years of growing and tending the hops, Chico Estate Harvest Ale, which was brewed using only their own fresh green hops, was released in 2008. In January of this year they took it one step further and planted 26 acres of two-row barley and the results of that first crop was an unexpected success. They are now in the unique position of being able to produce an estate-brewed beer, a beer brewed with 100% of the hops and barley grown at their brewery.

This is certainly a story that interested me as I have also taken the first steps to produce an "estate beer". Earlier this spring, I planted my first hops in pots in the backyard in an effort to eventually brew a beer using home-grown hops. You can follow the progress at my other blog, Hops In Pots. I doubt my wife would allow me to take the next step of plowing up the backyard and planting two row barley. However, Chris Colby of Brew Your Own (BYO) magazine has done exactly that at his home in Bastrop, TX. Chris had been growing hops at home for years and recently took that next step which you can read about on his blog at BYO magazine.

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