Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lucky Lab Hop Harvest

What a blast! I got submerged in work yesterday and almost forgot to go help the Lucky Lab pick the cones off the hop vines for this year's fresh hop beer. Not to worry, there were still plenty of vines to work on by the time I got there.

In contrast to John Harris' experiment this year with different single-hop versions of Full Sail Lupulin Ale, the Lab's harvest ale -- aptly named "The Mutt" -- is made with whatever hops wandered into the yard. Some of them are grown on premises, but most of them were donations brought in from gardens all over town.

The Lucky Lab is special to me in many ways, one of which is the fact that it's where I first tasted fresh-hop ale a few years ago, but I was unimpressed by the 2007 Mutt. The 2008 will use the same grain recipe, but it should pack more of a hop punch. Last year they put 74 pounds of fresh hops into the Mutt -- yesterday's bumper crop weighed in at 125 pounds, almost twice as much.

It was great fun to stand around pulling the hops off the vine. I was only there for an hour or so, but a number of the hop pickers were there the whole time from noon until around 6 PM. It wasn't just the usual Portland beer suspects -- although they were certainly there -- and that was part of the beauty of it. Anyone with a love of beer and a willingness to get sticky fingers could walk right up and pitch in. It was another true Portland experience.


  1. Portland is an awesome beer town!

    My last Lucky Lab experience:


  2. Ben, you can't get any Portlander than the Lucky Lab.

  3. Awesome! I'm headed down there this evening, but I'd've gone earlier if I'd known about this.

  4. No hurry, ouroboros, it happened yesterday. Look for the beer in a couple weeks.

  5. Bill, I don't know if you and badben have been introduced. He's a beerblogging acquaintance of mine from Kansas City. Badben … Bill. Bill … Badben. We met last year during the holidays. He's also a distance running freak like I used to be.

  6. Buuuurp. Bill, thanks for year the jerk wings will be more timely!