Sometime over the summer, a friend told me that he was going to be working with a PBS program that was filming a segment featuring Hill Farmstead Brewery. He asked if I’d be interested in a quick road trip. I guess by now, you know my answer.
(C) 2017 popsonhops
Beautiful crisp fall morning in Burlington. A quick stop at a local coffee shop and we were on our way driving through the back drop of peak fall foiliage. We were probably the first people at the brewery and were welcomed to hang in the tap room while waiting for the crew to arrive.
(C) 2017 popsonhops
Enjoyed lunch and a fairly nice sized haul of goodies including twelve cans of Difference & Repetition. I had the opportunity to ask a couple of questions of the brewery manager. A new addition to the brewery was the availability of cans in the bottle shop. He said that they tested cans and were pleased that they held the flavor. He did say that they might notice a subtle difference after a few days but a consumer probably would not. The use of Hallertau Blanc hops was a new one on me. I know Hallertau hops as being one of the German noble hops but it doesn’t necessarily excite as part of an American-Style IPA. He explained that it was a newer variety, possibly in reaction to onslaught of New Zealand, Australian and hops from the American northwest.
My thoughts on Difference & Repetition…
Style: IPA ABV: 6.0% Beer #: 1,116
First few sips, explode with white wine grapes and the signature smooth polished mouthfeel of a Hill Farmstead ale. Orange, grapefruit rule. Really nice, 95 points.
The philosophical reference: Difference & Repetition is a 1968 book by philosopher Gilles Deleuze. I won’t even attempt giving you the Cliff Notes.
Head High Tasting: September 1, 2017 Style: American-style IPA Beer #: 1,102 ABV: 6.6%
I have foodie friends and when they gush on about certain dishes, they often describe the fresh flavor. I think everyone gets that sentiment, and it’s easy to distinguish the differences between freshly picked tomatoes from your garden and the flavorless red things sold at the supermarket. I think the same can be said for hop-based beer. A positive experience can be described as a beer that has a fresh hop flavor. That is a bit deceiving as many hops used are dried and pelletized and really aren’t fresh off the vine. I think the interpretation is that you can taste the true characteristics of the hop and the latest evolution of craft beer has brewers working to spotlight a fresh flavor.
For many years, hops were added primarily in mid-boil and late boil. The mid-boil hop addition converts the alpha acids found in hops to bitterness compounds. The late hop addition released enough hop oils to contribute to a beer’s aroma. The boiling of hops doesn’t do much for imparting that fresh hop flavor. Today, brewers are shifting away from the bitterness addition and concentrating on the late or post cooling by using hopbacks, whirlpools and dry/wet hopping. So, when someone say that a beer has a fresh hop flavor, a lot of creativity went into the finished product.
A friend stopped by Kane during a recent beach trip and picked me up a few four-packs of Head High and Overhead – 93 points. Purely a guess, but I think Head High and Overhead might describe wave heights as overhead represents an imperial IPA as compared to the base IPA.
I’ve had this beer many times and I’m surprised that it hasn’t appeared in my blog. Fresh hops abound here and Head High is a solid go to beer, 91 points.
If you want release information, Kane tends to make announcements via their Instagram Page
You say double dry-hopping and I say, “yes please.”
Dry hopping is the practice of adding dry hops (or dried hop pellets) to cooled wort (or cooked beer). Most brewers allow these hop additions to sit in the wort for as many as five days. This process lends a fresh hop flavor and usually wonderful aromatics. Double dry-hopping is…you guessed it…doing it twice.
This IPA features a secondary dry hopping with Simcoe hops. Probably a double shot of Simcoe since the website doesn’t mention if they used a second type of hop in the process.
As you can see Double Dry Hopped Summer Street pours a wonderful hazy orange color. Flavor pops with tangerine, tart pear and grass. Soft edges, crisp finish, and a nice overall mouthfeel. Really nice offering from Trillium, 95 points.
Trillium does name some of their beer after streets in Boston and many streets in Boston have been named for famous Bostonians. In this case, Summer Street is not named for Donna Summer. Sorry for that tease. I’ll offer up that Summer and Winter Street connect at Washington Street in Boston. So, Winter turns into Summer and vice-versa.
By the time my friend Mike and I made it to Trillium in Canton, we had been driving for about four and a half hours. It was about three hours from New Jersey to Tree House. We had a quick twenty minutes on the ground waiting for our twelve cans of Haze and Bright Citra and it was back in the car for another hour and a half to Trillium. Facing another three plus hours home, it was nice to take a beer break in the Trillium tasting room in Canton.
My wife gave me strict orders not to come home with any stout. For once, I had to agree with her as my beer cellar is bursting with prized stouts. I would rather spend my cash on a summer’s worth of world class IPA. I still wanted to try a stout and my taste buds couldn’t wait for a pour of Trillium Night and Day with cold brewed coffee.
If you do go to the tasting room in Canton, they allow you a total of 20 ounces and serve their beer in either five ounce or ten ounce portions. You can do the math. I started with a ten ounce pour of El Dorado Cutting Tiles. I had just purchased a case, as well as a couple of growlers of the IPA formerly known as Artaic. I couldn’t wait to have one. I followed Cutting Tiles with my long awaited five ounce pour of Trillium Night and Day with Cold Brewed Coffee from Barrinton Coffee Roasters. It did not disappoint. This stout is amazingly complex with dark roasted coffee, fudge, a hint of dark fruit and cherry. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Really hit the spot, amazing stout 96 points.
Back on the road with our combined haul of about nine cases of IPA. Thankfully, they didn’t have any bottles of this stout to go or I would have been in trouble at home.