Sunday, July 10, 2011

Echoview Farm to host Hops Festival this weekend

Unfortunately, I'll be heading to the beach, but if you have the time this Saturday, you may want to check out the 2nd Annual Hops Festival at Echoview Farm in Weaverville, NC.  The event feature local craft beer, bluegrass music and a tour of the farm's hops yard.
The 75-acre Echoview Farm,which is dedicated to sustainable agriculture, is also the largest producer of hops in NC. Hops are traditionally grown the the western parts of the U.S., but Echoview has set out to demonstrate that eastern states can be suitable to the crop, too. The farm currently grows 9 varieties, which find their way into Asheville-area craft brews after harvest.

The event takes place from 11 AM to 3 PM. Admission costs $10 per person and includes lunch, samples of beers brewed with Echoview hops and a tasting glass. Registration is online at www.echoviewfarm.com.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Ovila Abbey Dubbel

The Ovila project is a limited-edition, three-ale collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Abbey of New Clairvaux. Each is brewed according to monastic traditions and part of the proceeds will go toward helping the monks of New Clarivaux to rebuild the Santa Maria de Ovila chapter house on the grounds of their monastery. The stones of the medieval structure date back to 1190.

The Dubbel was released this spring and is the first of three varieties that will be released this year. It comes in a corked & caged 750ml bottle. As a side note, the package is incredibly attractive.

7.5% ABV

It's definitely an attractive beer... a  rich coppery color with crystal clarity. There's a modest amount of carbonation. Close inspection reveals steady pillars of ultra-fine bubbles floating into a thin, tan head.

Surprisingly, it has a very light aroma.  sweet and malty with hints of cherry and clove. I expected something stronger.

Taste & Feel 

Very sweet up front. It's rich, malty and fruity. Raisins and spice stand out in an otherwise caramel-sweet flavor. The initial sweetness is followed by a dry, carbonated burst that complements a light, but spicy, hops. Finish is dry and a bit peppery.

Pretty good. I drank the whole bottle, and the flavor held up quite well as it warmed.Very much looking forward to the Quad, which should be out around Thanksgiving.