Hello Nickel Beer Fans,
It is my favorite time of year to be a beer drinker – fresh hop season. Hops are harvested only once a year and then dried and stored near frozen for use throughout the year. Only at harvest time do brewers get the opportunity to brew with fresh, wet hops right when they are picked. And we are very fortunate here in San Diego to have a high quality local hop industry with 15 registered hop farms. This means that I got to brew 6 different beers with San Diego grown hops right as they were picked – and now all 6 are on tap in our tasting room and you will be able to find them at the O’Brien’s San Diego Wet Hop Weekend event starting tonight.
Here are our fresh hop beers:
Star B Fresh Hop Pale:
This light colored 5% Pale is made with hops grown around Julian from Star B Ranch, Hopportunity Farms and local wild hops that grow behind the town hall. It is primarily Chinook, Cascade and Julian Gold. Julian Gold is the name given to the wild town hall hops that are believed to be a Cluster type variety dating to the original town brewery in 1888.
Fresh Mountain Crystal IPA:
Brewed with fresh picked Crystal hops from Star B Ranch in Santa Ysabel and dry hopped with more fresh Star B Crystal. This 6.1% IPA has lots of citrus and stone fruit flavors.
Standing Eagle Fresh Hop IPA:
Brewed with fresh picked Cascade and a little Nugget from Star B Hop Ranch in Santa Ysabel. This 6.2% IPA was dry hopped with fresh Star B Crystal, Cascade, Mt Hood and Nugget. Named after the biggest bull in the herd at Star B Hop and Buffalo Ranch.
My Way Fresh Hop IPA:
Cascade from Star B in Santa Ysael and Chinook from Nopalito Farms in Valley Center were used the same day that they were picked in this 6.3% IPA. Dry hopped with fresh Crystal from Star B.
Green Truck Fresh Hop Double IPA:
This light colored 8% alcohol hop monster used over 70 pounds of San Diego grown Columbus hops from Nopalito Farms in Valley Center and Star B Hop Ranch in Santa Ysabel. Massive hop flavors of pine and citrus.
Buffalo Paw Fresh Hop Brown Ale:
This 4% alcohol brown is a collaboration with Scot Blair, owner of Monkey Paw & Hamiltons. It was brewed with San Diego grown Glacier, Horizon, Nugget from SD Golden Hop Farm in Fallbrook and then dry hopped with Neo Mexicanus hops – a native wild variety from New Mexico – grown at Star B in Santa Ysabel.
And as an added bonus our pepper IPA is currently made with the Standing Eagle Fresh Hop IPA.
Deathtöngue IPA (Scorpion Pepper IPA)
Fresh Scorpion peppers are chopped and added to the Standing Eagle Fresh Hop IPA. Scorpion Peppers are from Trinidad and they are the world’s second hottest pepper. Spicy! I figure we are the only brewery in the world doing a fresh hop Scorpion Pepper IPA. I mean, it is a little insane, right? For the truly crazy, try to eat our Scorpion Pepper beef jerky with this (my mouth just started watering thinking about that).
And while not truly a fresh hop beer, our Triple IPA does have fresh Star B Cascade as the main part of the dry hop addition in the serving tank:
Lions Blood Triple IPA
This hop monster is 11% alcohol and was brewed with Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic and German Blanc hops. It has huge citrus and melon notes and was dry hopped with Star B Cascade.
All told right now, 9 of the 16 beers we have on tap use hops or apples grown in San Diego county. All of these beers are on tap now in the tasting room and I expect the 6 fresh hop beers to be on tap through at least the end of October. After that, they will start to disappear until next year, so enjoy them while you can. We are doing to-go growlers of all 6 as well and even the Scorpion Pepper beer.
Down the Hill
Tonight, Thursday the 15th, you can also find all 6 of our fresh hop beers at O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa (http://obrienspub.net/). There will be five draft kegs and the Standing Eagle IPA will be on cask – all of the beers will tap at 5 pm. The pub will also have a keg of the Deathtongue IPA. The beers will then be on tap all weekend as part of the pub’s San Diego Wet Hop Weekend featuring beers brewed with San Diego grown hops. The pub expects to have 26 or 27 beers all made with locally grown, fresh picked hops on tap starting at 5 pm Friday and running through Sunday while they last. I plan to be there Friday night to enjoy the fresh hop beers.
Later this month we will be kicking off the 10th Anniversary celebrations for our friends at Hamilton’s in South Park. On Friday, September 30th we will be tapping 10 beers and 2 casks including all 6 fresh hop beers. As the Buffalo Paw Brown was a collaboration with Hamilton’s owner Scot Blair, we are doing 2 different cask versions of the beer for the night. The first will have fresh Neo Mexicanus hops in the cask. The second is a play on Mexican Hot Chocolate and has Cacao Nibs, Mexican Cinnamon, Vanilla Beans and a single Scorpion Pepper (for the “hot” part). We’ll have kegs of the Lion’s Blood Triple IPA, nitro Stonewall Stout, Crab Apple Pie Ale and Jalapeno Gold. In addition to beer, look for Nickel Pickel food specials from the Hamilton’s Cafe. I will certainly be enjoying both the beer and the pickels on the 30th at Hamilton’s.
In the meantime, I will be bringing down the Standing Eagle IPA, Fresh Mountain Crystal and Buffalo Paw Brown Ale to West Coast BBQ and Brew in La Mesa on Thursday the 22nd. We already tapped the Star B Pale, May Way IPA and Green Truck Double IPA there and they did not last 48 hours. You can check out West Coast at: http://westcoastbbqandbrew.com/.
Looking ahead to San Diego Beer Week, we will be participating in the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival on Saturday, November 5th. And we have an event at O’Brien’s on Friday the 4th with Alpine Beer Company. If all goes well we will also be releasing a collaboration brew with Kern River Brewing.
This weekend you will find our beers on tap at the 47th Julian Music Festival at Menghini Winery on Saturday the 17th. The Music Fest runs from 1-7 pm though the doors open at Noon. It is a benefit for the California Wolf Center, which is a great place and worth checking out (https://www.californiawolfcenter.org/). You can the info on the music fest and see the line up here: https://julianmusicfestival.com/. Local favorites Sara Petite and Gregory Page both play in the afternoon. Look for Back Country Gold, Weekender Wheat, Crab Apple Pie Ale and Buffalo Paw Brown Ale on tap plus possibly one more bonus beer during the Sara Petite Show around 2:30 pm.
Next weekend we will have beers on tap at the annual Apple Days Festival, also hosted at Menghini Winery. The festival is two days, Saturday and Sunday, the 24th and 25th and will run from 10 am to 5 pm both days. We’ll have beers on tap both days including lots of Crab Apple Pie Ale. The line up is not set yet, but I will certainly post up on Facebook what we will be bringing by next Friday. You can find out all of the info about the Apple Days Festival at: http://visitjulian.com/to-see-do/special-events/apple-days/.
Locally, you can find our beers on tap at both Jeremy’s on the Hill and Wynola Pizza Express.
NFL and Expanded Hours
The NFL season has started and the Chargers have already found new and innovative ways to disappoint us. The team’s next opportunity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory will come this Sunday the 18th at 1:25 pm vs. Jacksonville. We are regularly open until 7:30 pm on Thursday, Sunday and Monday however, we will be staying open until the end of the game as long as there are people there watching the game. No matter what we will show the first two hours of each Thursday, Sunday and Monday night NFL game and assuming people are hanging out enjoying the game, we will stay open to show it but we won’t stay open until the end of the game with an empty tasting room. So if you want to watch the game, get there before half time and you will be fine.
As part of our new hours, we are open until at least 7:30 pm Sunday thru Thursday and 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. We will open early on Monday, October 10th which is Columbus Day. And we are planning to be open in the afternoon on Thanksgiving this year. The plan right now is to open from 4 pm to 7 pm on Thanksgiving Day. We will also be open late on Wednesday the 23rd, the night before Thanksgiving – probably until 8:30 pm. I will confirm all of the details as we get closer.
Finally, we have re-stocked nearly all of our brewery merchandise. We are still waiting on a few women’s shirts to come in but men’s shirts both long and short sleeve, all sweatshirts, women’s tank tops and hats are all in good supply. We will have some new items coming in with the next round of merch next week including some tie dye shirts. New right now though we have Nickel Beer wooden coasters that have a built in bottle opener underneath. These are locally made from maple wood and are $6 each or 2 for $10. Check them out next time you are in the tasting room.
That is your Nickel Beer News for now. We do not have any food vendors confirmed for the fall right now, but that can change at the last minute, so be sure to check our Facebook page for updates at: https://www.facebook.com/NickelBeerCompany/. Keep an eye out there as well for info on upcoming barrel aged tappings as we just kegged up some Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout. We’ll see you soon for a great San Diego hopped beer. Cheers, Tom