This is a guest post by Thom Cornog from Paradise Beverages. As I recently profiled, Thom is responsible for overseeing a ton craft beer brands here in Hawaii. One of them, Rogue Brewing, has had a long and intimate relationship with Hawaii. It was one of the first consistently available domestic craft breweries here in Hawaii with classics like Dead Guy Ale, Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout and Hazelnut Brown Nectar. Rogue’s founder, the late Jack Joyce, lived on Oahu for a good part of each year.
That connection with Hawaii continues today and Thom recently got the chance to visit Rogue’s home base in Oregon to collaborate on a new beer that will only be available here in Hawaii. Thom not only brewed his first sour, but also got to hop around to Rogue’s various locations to see how they do everything from grow hops to make barrels.
Rogue Trippin’ For My First Sour Brew
This past March I was lucky enough to be invited to Rogue’s headquarters in Portland to brew a sour beer that will be available exclusively in Hawaii. I met up with Rogue brewer Danny Conner at the Green Dragon Bistro and Pub in Portland to brew Paradise Pucker. The beer is a Passion Orange Guava (POG) Sour ale and it was my first time actually brewing on a large scale. I’ve messed around with some home brewing kits before, so everything was new to me. Danny lead the way and gave me the rundown on how to brew a sour beer.
The beer took 3 days to brew. The base beer was comprised of pilsner malt, white wheat, and acidulated malt. We used Horizon hops for bittering, but only about 5 IBUs. Once the mash was completed, the wort was transferred into the kettle and we added Nancy’s yogurt. This was the source of lactobacillus, which was allowed to sour the beer for the next 48 hours. Once the pH dropped to the correct level, the wort was boiled. We added California oranges and Amarillo hops to the whirlpool. The beer was fermented with a Kolsch yeast and Danny noted it was very tolerant of low pH and would leave a nice haze to make it look like juice.
Near the end of fermentation Danny added the passionfruit and guava puree, which should help keep the fruity flavors and aromas vibrant. From there it was dry hopped with Amarillo hops quickly and put into kegs. We wanted to have a super fresh, tart and juicy beer so the 24 kegs were shipped over to Hawaii as quickly as possible.
While I was in Oregon I also got visit Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon, where they grow all of their estate hops. It was the off season on the Hop Farm, but the weather was gorgeous and I was able to check out the entire hop harvesting operation. I can only imagine how vibrant the farm must look when it is covered with hops towering up the trellis wires. The whole process is amazing and I cannot wait to go back for the hop harvest sometime.
From there I was off to Newport to see the Rogue Brewery. It was amazing to see how it all comes together from the Rogue Farm to the Rogue Brewery. The brewery is in an incredible location right along the Yaquina Bay and the Pacific Ocean. One of the most impressive parts of the brewery was the barrel room. Rogue actually makes their own barrels for spirits and to age beer. I’ve definitely have never seen that before at a brewery. Impressive all the way around. I strongly recommend anyone who gets a chance to visit the brewery to check it out.
I’m super stoked at how Paradise Pucker turned out and can’t wait for people to try it. The first keg will be tapped at Brew’d on Tuesday, April 5th, and be on the lookout for it elsewhere.