Melissa Luci from Alexander Valley Hops and Fal Allen of Anderson Valley Brewing Co. visit Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras. Fal Allen has been on the show many times, the last time was this May 13, 2021 episode.
It is hop harvest season right now, as Melissa describes. Hops grow as long vines and need tall poles and wires to climb. A field of hops looks like a plantation of telephone poles.
Hops were grown from the late 1800s to about 1950 when the price collapsed. Alexander Valley Hops started in 2019 on a very long and skinny lot. They have an active Instagram page. The hops grow up poles that are 18-20 feet high. There is a top wire at that height. They want the plant (called bines) to reach that height by the summer solstice.
The Lost Coast Fresh Hops Festival
On Saturday, October 14, from 2-8 PM is the Lost Coast Fresh Hops Festival, in Shelter Cove, CA. Here is their link on Brown Paper Tickets. All of the breweries up there have made a beer out of Alexander Valley Hop Farm’s Chinook hops which thlost cey will open at the festival. For fresh hops, they need about 100 lbs for an 8 barrel batch. They try to use them within 24 hours. They give flavor and aroma that is very green, something that you can’t get with dry hops. Mad River Brewing is one of the sponsoring breweries.
Fal Allen has brought a bunch of Anderson Valley Brewing Co. beers. A lot of people were IPA obsessed for a few years, and that pendulum seems to be swinging back, so Pilsners are more and more popular now. They are tasting a Russian River Brewing Co. Hop Time Pale Ale which is made with fresh local hops, once a year at hop harvest. AVBC is also participating in a cooperative brewing project to benefit Maui.
One is called Salted Caramel Porter. It’s a 9.5% ABV beer that Fal describes as a dessert beer. If you like espresso and chocolate, you may like it.
Herlinda travels a lot and she will be in New York, Lithuania then Singapore.
Alexander Valley Hops served 16 breweries this year, the most ever for them.