Hello Nickel Beer Fans!
It is my favorite time of year in the brewing calendar – hop harvest. We have been busy brewing with locally grown hops all picked the same day we make beer with them. These fresh, or wet hops, create a unique flavor in the beer and certainly hops grown here in San Diego county are going to be different than those grown in the Pacific Northwest where most commercial hops are grown. Hops are only harvested once a year so be sure to enjoy these beers while you can. In addition I have news on other new beers, the annual Grape Stomp Festival and a series of blind Beer and Wine tasting events happening in Julian. Read on for all of the frothy details….
Wet Hop Beers
As of today we have two wet hop beers on tap – Ted Nugget wet hop Kolsch and Golden Nugget wet hop IPA. Both were brewed with Nugget hops from the Star B Hop and Bison Ranch in Santa Ysabel. The Ted Nugget Kolsch is a light colored 4.6% alcohol beer that is a perfect warm weather thirst quencher. It was brewed with only fresh picked Nugget hops used just after the boil for flavor, aroma and bitterness. The beer has a clean finish with a light malt sweetness.
The Golden Nugget IPA is full of earthy and lightly spicy hop flavors. It is 6% alcohol with medium bitterness from the use of Nugget pellet hops added at the beginning of the boil. Though both of these beers use the same local Nugget hops the flavors could not be more night and day different.
We have 3 more wet hop beers in the fermenters right now with two more being brewed in the next few days. Look for our next wet hop beer – My Way Wet Hop IPA – to be on tap by Monday, August 27th. Coming soon we will have Green Truck Wet Hop Double IPA, Star B Wet Hop Pale, a wet hop brown ale collaboration with South Park Brewing and Nebula Red Wet Hop Red IPA brewed in collaboration with local band Nebula Drag (check them out at: https://nebuladrag.bandcamp.com/.)
In addition to lots of wet hop beers happening in Julian, we have been busy doing collaborations around town as well. We have made a Wet Hop Session IPA with Viewpoint Brewing (on tap now), an IPA with fresh picked hops grown in Mexico with Agua Mala in Ensenada, a Wet Hop IPA collaboration with Newtopia Cyder, a Brut Style Wet Hop IPA with Bitter Brothers and a Wet Hop IPA with fresh pine needles made at Thunderhawk Alements.
We will have new Wet Hop beers coming on tap through the end of September and I expect to have at least a few wet hop beers to be on tap through the end of the year. In all, we should make 17 different wet hop beers during the local hop harvest.
Other New Beers
In addition to great wet hop beers we have some fantastic beers on tap. Our collaboration with Moonlight Meadery, Darkside of the Moonlight Imperial Honey Porter, is pouring on nitrogen right now. This 10.3% alcohol pitch black beer used more than 100 pounds of local Avocado honey and drinks way too smooth for a beer this strong.
These other fine beers are also pouring in our Julian tasting room. We just tapped the new batch of Dime Piece, our cider/beer hybrid collaboration with Newtopia Cyder. We have the last keg of Childhood’s End Double IPA pouring right now, our collaboration made at Stereo Brewing. Continuing with the collaborative theme we brewed Das Brut Belgian-style Golden Ale with our friends at Fall Brewing. This beer is bone dry and well hopped with Hull Melon and Mosaic hops. And finally we have Lion’s Blood Triple IPA made for the Beer to the Rescue campaign to benefit the Southern California Lupus Foundation with my friend and local beer writer Brandon Hernandez. To find out more about this great campaign or to donate, please visit: http://www.beertotherescue.org/.
Grape Stomp Fest and Labor Day Weekend
We will be pouring 3 of our beers at the annual Grape Stomp Wine Festival at Menghini Winery on Saturday, September 1st. The event will take place from 11 am to 6 pm and you can find ticket info and more information at: https://visitjulian.com/#event=8097243.
The tasting room will be open additional hours on Monday, September 3rd for the Labor Day holiday. The tasting room will be open from Noon to 8 pm on the 3rd. And expect us to stay open later on Sunday the 2nd as well.
I am working on a potential food vendor for the holiday weekend. Please check our Facebook page for updates on possible food options on Saturday and Sunday next weekend. You can find that here: https://www.facebook.com/NickelBeerCompany/.
Beer and Wine Tasting Events
Nickel Beer is participating in a series of blind Beer and Wine Tasting Competitions at the Inner North Star Retreat Center in Julian. On Saturday, September 8th there will be a blind tasting of 4 Nickel beers anytime from 2-5 pm at the Retreat Center. During that time I will be giving short talks on how to taste and judge beers. There will be two additional weekends of blind tasting competition, one for white and one for red wines from Volcan Mountain Winery and Menghini Winery in October and November. Grab your friends and enjoy a fun afternoon in a beautiful mountain top setting testing your tasting skills.
The cost for the tasting competition is $25 per event and there are lots of great prizes including a hosted party at Inner North Star’s one of a kind 1920’s themed Champagne Room, growlers and bottles of wine and gift certificates for the participating wineries and Nickel Beer. The goal is to correctly guess the style or varietal of each beer/wine, write 3 flavor descriptors and correctly guess what beer/wine you are drinking from each location. There will be light snacks to go along with the blind tasting.
For tickets and more information on the tastings, please visit Inner North Star’s website at: https://www.innernorthstar.com/event/beer-and-wine-blind-tasting-competition/.
That is your Nickel Beer news for now. You will be able to taste a number of our wet hop beers in San Diego at the San Diego Wet Hop Beer Festival at O’Brien’s Pub from September 13th-16th. I will have more information on that in the next email. In the meantime, we’ll see you soon for a great Julian brewed beer. Cheers, Tom