Breweries "Visited"

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Agriculture and Old School Rap; Perfect Together

Day #631  Keikoppenbier / Brouwerij De Plukker, Poperinge, Belgium
Previously from this brewery: Keikoppen

Back home after a  road trip to New Jersey to watch football yesterday.  Not a perfect day by any stretch of the imagination, but it did include a PSU win, which is always welcome.

I mentioned yesterday that part of the Beercycling tour took us through the region of Belgium famous for growing hops, and right in the middle of this was Brouwerij De Plukker, notable for being the first organic brewery as well as for growing their own hops on the farms next door.  We had a chance to meet the owners, Joris and Kris, who were nice enough to take time out of their day to give a Masters class in hop farming and brewing, share some of their beers, and let us wander around and take pictures.  In case you didn't know (and I didn't):
1. Hops grow on vines that are staked and supported by wires, and the vines grow at least 20 feet high or so
2. There are male and female versions of the plant
3. Having male versions of the plant in your hop field can get you in hot water, as only unpollinated plants have lupulin, the oil that helps preserve and flavor beer (or something like that)
4. Hops enjoy the same soil qualities as potatoes; hence, you often see them in places like Belgium and the Pacific Northwest
5. Hop cones smell DELICIOUS
6. De Plukker uses no pesticides on their farm, instead relying on natural methods to control pests
Grow up delicious!
Enough about agriculture, you're here for the beer.  We sampled a glass of Keikoppenbier, a blonde ale with a huge head and a dark gold hue.  There are light aromas of citrus and pine, and the taste pleasantly reminded me of an American Pale Ale in hoppiness and flavor.  It was dry and earthy, with a touch of bitterness on the finish.  Very enjoyable beer, and I greatly enjoyed meeting the brewers/farmers and hearing their story.
so pretty.....
Per the owner, the name of this beer is derived from a nickname of someone who lives in Poperinge, and describes someone who is stubborn and hard headed.

Thing to Think About Today:
All that learning about hops today means more hops are still needed.  If I need more hops, then I'm taking you back in time to 1993 to let Naughty By Nature drop some Hip Hop Hooray on us all.  Hooray for hops!

"cause I'm naughty by nature, not 'cause I hate ya"

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