Our annual Local Harvest Ale is here! This year we used Centennial hops from The Hop Yard. The seventh-generation family farm is down the road apiece from the Brewery in Gorham.
Our brewers used the wet hop technique (aka “cryo-whacking”), which involves freezing and smashing the hops.
Head brewer Rusty Packer explains: By crushing the hop cones, we achieve increased surface contact area of hops to beer, which allows us to use all of the available lupulin oils packed inside the cones. Freezing them with liquid nitrogen makes the cones literally shatter because they are still full of water (hence wet hop), while preserving the quality of the oils. BTW: hop oils oxidize extremely fast!
Long story short, all the good stuff in a hop can be found in the oils, and this method unleashes high amounts of high quality oils for the beer. Also, it looks cool on Instagram.
Stay tuned for one more fall local harvest ale that’s currently under construction…
Local Harvest Ale is available at all five Sebago Brewing locations, including the Tasting Room on Main Street in Gorham.