Are you a hophead? If you enjoy hop-forward types of beer, then right-o, you fit the bill. Not sure? North County’s hop haven, Tequesta Brewing Company, will answer those nagging questions from September 23-28 at the third annual Hop Week. A celebration of the annual hop harvest that traditionally runs from late August through September, brew masters Matt Webster and Fran Andrewlevich are busting out the hop-heavy brews for this annual party of those little conical flowers.
Hop Week differs than a standard week at TBC; this is for hopheads to really geek-out for their love of the brew. For the third annual running, TBC ordered more than 100 pounds of 22 different hop varietals, and had them overnighted to Tequesta to treat the beer. Many of the hops shipped were sent before processing, known as wet hops, to maintain a level of aroma and characteristics lost when processed and dried. This gives whatever beer these hops are added to a major boost in flavor and aroma.
The lineup for this year’s Hop Week is packed with steady flows of IPAs – Black, Session, Double and Sour, as well as plenty of beers with wet and dry-hop treatments, cask-conditioned hop concoctions, wet and dry hop infused oak-aged brews as well as hop-loaded Randall pours. It is by far the biggest hop party in Palm Beach. The lineup is as follows:
Tuesday, Sept. 23:
- Session IPA with Citra wet hops
- Belgian Rye Pale Ale Simcoe wet hops
- American Rye IPA wet hopped, twice, with Cascade and Simcoe
Wednesday, Sept. 24:
- American Rye IPA aged on American Oak and Cascade wet hops
- Dueling Black IPA casks – one with Simcoe dry hops
Thursday, Sept. 25:
- Black IPA with Simcoe and Mosaic wet hops
- Double IPA with white peaches and Mosaic wet hops
- Belgian Tripel cask with slow gin berries
- French Oak and Centennial wet hops (5 p.m. tapping)
Friday, Sept. 26:
- Double IPA with Mosaic wet hops
- Session IPA with Tamarind and Amarillo dry hops
Saturday, Sept. 27:
- Gnarly Barley with Equinox wet hops
- Black IPA Randal pour with Equinox wet hops (4-8 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 28:
- Barrel-aged Gnarly Barley Brett sour with Centennial wet hops
- Double IPA with jalapeno and Equinox wet hops
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In other brew news, TBC is growing. Slated for a tentative December opening, TBC’s newest venture, Twisted Trunk Brewing Company, will begin pouring brews in Palm Beach Gardens. Located at City Center – 2000 PGA Boulevard – the new brewery will be larger than TBC – “six to eight thousand barrel capacity over the next few years,” says Andrewlevich – and offer its own lineup of craft beers on tap.
The name itself comes from the infamous banyan tree John D. MacArthur moved to Palm Beach Gardens in 1961 (located at the intersection of MacArthur and Northlake Blvd.). The 75-ton tree made national headlines on its travels along rail, not for MacArthur’s conservation-minded activity, but for the problems it caused: severing Western Union lines; falling on the train tracks, holding up all rail travel; not to mention a truck spewing more than 10,000 gallons of molasses on a road, halting transportation and broken railway signs along the way. Though many saw this as a blunder, you simply could not buy publicity like that – rich man toils to save tree for his new “garden-themed” city in the heart of South Florida. Hopefully Twisted Trunk has a few tricks up their sleeve to give South Florida its due for the great craft beers being brewed down here.
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On the Reg at TBC:
Every Wednesday at 3 p.m., Webster and Andrewlevich tap an exclusive cask. Cask-conditioned firkins are infused with an array of flavor combinations and left alone for two to three weeks, allowing for the flavor to seep in. Heavy doses of hops from points all over make it into some of the brewery’s mainstays like Gnarley Barley, the revolving Julio Weizen and monthly “heavy hitters” like the Session IPA.
The Randall is an interesting beer-centric apparatus. Developed by Delawarean master brewers at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, the Randall is an “organoleptic hop transducer module,” or a double-chamber filter affixed to a tap. The brewerer adds flavorful ingredients enhance the beer’s complexity. Some TBC concoctions of note: a Baltic Porter poured through toasted hazelnuts and chocolate; Gnarley Barley filtered through pineapple, jalapenos and cilantro; and my personal favorite, the Hoppy Brown (brown ale) poured through coffee and bacon. The recipe is different every week, with TBC pouring from the Randall on Saturdays from 5-8 p.m. So if flavor is your thing, it is not a bad time to head to Tequesta for a pre-dinner sip. (Corner Café and Hog Snappers, both in the same plaza, are great spots for a bite following a TBC session.)
Pairing Beer & Bites
Master Cicerone Nicole Erny gives us some basic rules on pairing craft beer with food.