This year we bring you another season of our single-hop IPA, Clusterf#ck. As usual, this beer started at the base of my brain, 3/4 to midway up the spinal column as a bit of a joke and a poke your fellow brewing comrades in the eye sort of thing. I had always been enamored by Cluster hops; mostly for their long serving history in American brewing and that they were passed over and forgotten with all the sexy new varieties that have come in over the years. The idea was to use this unique hop that nobody cared for anymore in an IPA, featuring its lovely aroma in all its glory. Go figure, the beer came out pretty nice. Recently, I have seen a few of these Cluster single-hop IPAs floating around. That’s cool with me, since when I drink someone else’s beer that I like, I think to myself, how the heck can I get that flavor in my beer? It’s so darn nice!
I digress… This year something happened, the season was odd at the hop farm. Hops were a tad young at harvest time due to a warm, dry spring, and a great growing season throughout the summer. Nearly perfect conditions existed, one could argue, hops were on time, and they smelled great at harvest. Perhaps that’s why this year’s Cluster IPA tastes a little different to me. It’s the same recipe, same procedures, same brewers (although we are getting better), same brewhouse, same brewmaster swilling a pint after work, but I find the beer is uniquely more balanced and crisp. The hop aroma is more singular, fresh, citrusy, hints of lemon, pine, no grassy character… all around just lovely to enjoy. This beer is meant to be consumed fresh, so keep pouring yourself one, and we’ll keep brewing it over the summer for you to enjoy. We brewed a large amount in May and it is just now getting released. However, it looks like we are already running out, so we’ve added some more brews to the schedule in an attempt to keep it flowing.
Also, Anneke did a great job on a rework of our label… it doesn’t do anything to the flavor, but I sure think it looks great on the bottle. I can imagine myself enjoying a brew on a warm summer evening, looking at the clusters of clusters of stars, smelling the clusters of clusters in the Clusterf#ck, and wondering how damn wonderful it is be on the planet with my friends and my family, and now I’ve got a little tear in my eye…. OK, gotta go.