Hop Harvesting at Blue Heron Farm
Posted In: Organic Products
This past Monday Beverage Director Alex Galimberti and General Manager Chris Titus from Taranta Restaurant joined Rob Lucente, co-owner of Peak Organic Brewery for a hop harvesting trip to Blue Heron Farm in Lincoln, MA. Blue Heron Farm is a small organic farm that is one of many New England farms to grow hops for Peak Organic. Ellery Kimball, the farm manager, was kind enough to show us around her farm and explain the process of growing hops. Also joining the harvest were Mark Vasconcelos, Rob Lurie and Sara Begin from the Specialty Department at Burke Distributing, and Patti Martin owner of Tastings Restaurant in Foxboro, a farm to table restaurant that prides itself on fresh ingredients.
The cool late summer breeze in the morning made for a perfect harvesting day. We all met at the farm and got to work picking the best looking hops from the vine. We learned from Ellery that the type of hop we were picking is called a Cascade hop. This is one of the most frequently used hops in American craft brewing. Rob had us break apart one of the hop cones and the aroma inside was incredible. He showed us the yellow pollen that gives IPA’s and pale ales their distinct smell and flavor. Of course, a day with the owner of a brewery wouldn’t be complete without tasting a few beers. Rob opened the Fall Summit Ale, King Crimson Imperial Red Ale, and our favorite, the Oak Aged Mocha with Taza chocolate. The morning turned into the early afternoon and suddenly we were out of beer but had finished harvesting all the hops. This trip was another great learning experience for the staff at Taranta to see the connection between the finished product, the farm, and the people who make it all happen. The Fall Summit Ale will be available at Taranta this Fall.