Down on the Farm
The flavor and aroma of beer starts on the farm – the hop farm.
In early July, Worthy took a road trip to Goschie Farms in Silverton, Oregon. The Willamette Valley has had it’s wettest spring on record, eclipsing last spring’s record. We wanted to check on the progress of a new hop that our friends at Indie Hops discovered: Meridian.
Meridian is an aroma variety whose flavor and aroma characteristics have been described as “sweet lemon,” “mixed berry,” “tropical fruit,” and “cool mint.” It has an unusually low alpha/beta ratio (6-7% alpha/9-10% beta). Worthy has its eyes on Meridian because of it’s versatility. It has shown promise in single hopped pale ales and IPAs, both as a late kettle addition and via dry hopping. It plays well with Belgian ales as well as European and American lager styles, giving the crisp, clean lager base a refreshing hop finish.
The good news is despite the Spring deluge and pesky downy mildew outbreaks, the Meridian fields were… Strong! The side arm development was muscular, the height was towering, and the cone growth was vigorous. Goschie Farms has scheduled the harvest for August 27, 2012.
That means we’ll be brewing with fresh, fragrant and oily Meridians in September… on our home brew system. Darn! We won’t have our pilot brew or production brew systems up and operating full tilt until mid- November.
Here are some photos of our Meridian Hop Trip.