Coming in October 2011

Randy Sprecher sampling Fresh Hop Amber Lager from the lager tank on  9/9/2011

Wisconsin Fresh Hop Amber Lager

Wisconsin Hops

In the middle to late 1800's, Wisconsin was one of the leading hop producing locales in the world. This had come about naturally thanks to the vibrant beer brewing culture that followed the arrival of German immigrants to the area. However, the combination of prohibition and downy mildew disease, coinciding with the rise of mass interstate export/import led to the elimination of significant hop production in Wisconsin during the 1920's, and it has never recovered.

With an interest to revive regional hop growing as part of an overall desire to keep our raw material usage as local as possible, Sprecher helped found a brewers hop co-op. The Co-op's goal is to support Wisconsin hop growers by guaranteeing a market for their hops thereby creating a reliable, sustainable and growing pool of local hops for small brewers to choose from in crafting uniquely Wisconsin beers.

Fresh Hop Amber Lager

Fresh Hop Amber Lager is Sprecher Brewery's first beer on a production scale that will feature these home grown Wisconsin hops. Using Special Amber as the base brew, Fresh Hop Amber Lager is then dry hopped on top of a thick bed of Wisconsin Cascade hops from Wokatsch Farms in Wausau Wisconsin. From our initial samplings we can tell that Fresh Hop Amber Lager will meet our expectations and more, and we are looking forward to serving it up this October and in years to come.

After a sampling from the lager tank on 9/9/2011, Randy Sprecher had this to say about the beer:

We used the just harvested 200 lbs of WI grown Cascade hops to dry hop our 40 barrels of lager beer and it is still resting on all those nice looking hops.  These WI hops were not a strong as those we receive from the west coast, Oregon’s Willamette valley, my birth place (Eugene, OR).  Tasting from the tank I get a nice crisp character from these hops and slight floral bouquet.  I can not describe exactly what flavor is coming across except that it is nice and refreshing and of distinct and subtle cascade profile.  The hops do not add much in the way of aroma but their acids do impart a nice change in the mouth feel and slight resin character to the finish.  Drinkability is very good and I suspect that it will improve a bit upon final filtration and with its full carbonation.  We are looking forward to quaffing a lot of this special brew.

Look to find Fresh Hop Amber Lager exclusively (40 bbls on draught) at the following fine establishments in October (will be updated as the release date approaches):