DURANGO, CO—For the 6th year in a row Ska Brewing has brewed a limited release wet-hop IPA. This year’s “all-Colorado” batch used fresh Colorado hops from High Wire Hop Farms in Paonia, and grain from Colorado Malting Company in Alamosa.
“Hoperation Ivy” was brewed within hours of the hop harvest in August, and will be released at the brewery’s 18th Anniversary Party this Saturday, Sept. 7. Hoperation Ivy will hit shelves the following week as #23 in Ska’s Local Series, which sees distribution only in Colorado.
“This is a true ‘harvest’ beer”, said Bill Graham, Ska Co-founder and Brewing Overlord. “They were bagging hops at 6 a.m. and those hops were in the kettle by 3 p.m. that day, which is really cool. We only brew one batch of this a year, and we look forward to the next year from the minute it’s gone.”
The timing of the harvest and conditions of the growing season contribute a unique character to each year’s batch. “There’s been a lot of rain, and then we had a few dry days right before the harvest so things worked out really well this year,” said Graham.
Generally, when hops are harvested they are dried and pressed into pellets, but fresh hop, or “wet hop” beers use whole flowers that were plucked from the bine just hours before and still retain most of the volatile flavor compounds that are lost during processing. Hop “bines” are distinct from grape and other “vines” due to the plant’s structure.
“Not only do we get to make a rare and delicious beer, but we also get the chance to use local ingredients,” said Dave Thibodeau, Ska President and Co-founder. “That’s exciting because it means supporting Colorado farmers, and also because it results in less ingredients being transported here from the Northwest or Europe. That’s really the area of brewing where you can have the biggest impact in terms of reducing your carbon footprint.”
About Ska Brewing
Based in Durango, Colorado, Ska Brewing was founded in 1995 and now produces over a dozen medal-winning beers including the Pinstripe Red Ale, True Blonde Ale and Steel Toe Stout. Four Ska beers are now widely available in cans: ESB Special Ale, True Blonde, Modus Hoperandi IPA and the summer seasonal Mexican Logger. For information, music and a good time, visit www.skabrewing.com. Chat us up and get the latest news at facebook.com/skabrew andtwitter.com/skabrewing.