What do you do when you’re told that there is a field of hops that need harvesting? And that someone’s been looking to unload a hundred pounds of buttercup squash? Make beer of course.
We had been conspiring with Peter and Josh from North Brewing Company for several weeks now about doing another version of our popular seasonal release of 2013, “Many Hands Pale Ale” and we wanted to do another for 2014. Peter came across a hundred pounds of locally grown buttercup squash, so why not do a twist on pumpkin ale? We said sure, and that’s when our friends at LaHave Natural Farms called us and said that they had a bunch of hop plants that needed picking, so we obliged and drove up to the farm to do some serious picking.
We harvested Cascade, Mount Hood, and Centennial hops from LaHave Natural Farms, and over ten pounds of Chinook hops from our own hop plants here in Shelburne.
Many Hands Pale Ale, 2014, is mashed with one hundred pounds of buttercup squash, and mash-hopped with organic Chinook hops. (The smell was fantastic from the mash tun.) We used Two-Row Pale Malt grown in Quebec, Maris Otter and some Kilned Amber Malt for some beautiful colour. We first-wort hopped it with as much Cascade hops as we could get into the kettle, and finished it off with some Mount Hood, and Hallertauer hops, all grown organically at LaHave Natural Farms.
The buttercup squash comes through nicely in the beer, with a great hoppy flavour that can only be had from a wet hopped harvest beer. At 6.5% ABV and 37 IBU, we think that this will certainly be a hit.