Let me tell you a story. It’s the story of a young brewery with big ambitions. Specifically, ambitions to make really exciting beer the coolest way possible. Unfortunately, that sometimes results in absurd projects that would be disasters if the results weren’t so tasty.
And such is the case with Orderville, the wet hop IPA we just tapped in the tasting room and will be sending into distribution next week. Months ago we got the announcement from one of our hop brokers that if we wanted to make a “green hop" (i.e. fresh-picked & undried hops) beer, we needed to place our order NOW NOW NOW. Well at that time we were cruising along just fine, with plenty of time and capacity in the brewhouse to take on new projects.
So we ordered a crapload of wet Mosaic, Simcoe, & Chinook hops. The projected harvest dates appeared to make it possible to both brew the beer with wet hops and, uh, dry-hop it with wet hops, which sounded really cool at the time.
Fast forward to late September and the brewhouse is in a state of advanced psychosis as we try mightily to build up enough inventory to fill a metric fuckton of cans. It’s the worst possible time to be tackling an absurdly labor-intensive new project, but the only alternative would be to throw away a monstrous pile of fresh, pungent, awesome wet hops, which wasn’t going to happen.
The harvest, of course, didn’t shake out at all as predicted, and we were forced to brew two entirely separate beers: one with wet Simcoe, another with wet Chinook. The wet Mosaic showed up late—naturally—so we dry-hopped the Simcoe beer with the wet Mosaic. But we ordered so much Mosaic that we literally couldn’t fit anywhere near enough of it into the fermenter, so we filled the hopback with the wet Mosaic and recirculated the beer through it over and over and over and over again.
Once that lunatic experience was over, we blended the two beers, and Orderville was born. So despite the completely absurd and radically inefficient experience of making this beer, the results are goddamn fantastic. Orderville has a big, distinctive green hop aroma, and the flavor is completely saturated with fruity, melon-y, citrusy hop goodness.
We definitely will not be making a beer this way again, so get it while you can. Orderville is available for tasters, pints, and growler fills in the tasting room right now. Expect to see it popping up around town starting late next week.