With our annual Hop Head Fest approaching on April 30th, we talked with our head brewer Shaun about this year’s event:
How many years has Hop Head Fest been put on? When/how/why did it start?
It was a tradition started several years ago in conjunction with an annual disc golf tournament on the orchard. The idea was Don Boutin’s and Pioneer Brewery hosted the first festivals. We picked up the tradition four years ago when we took over the brewing operation.
Who are some of the guest breweries participating this year? How many do you expect total?
This year we expect 13 breweries. So far we’ve confirmed Iron Duke, Wormtown, Flying Dreams, Willimantic, Pioneer, Paper City, a Kretschmann/Homefield collaboration, Bentley, and a Rapscallion/Charlton Beer Company collaboration.
Is there a particular beer you’re excited to try?
I’m excited to try Flying Dreams’ beer. It’s a newer brewery with a fantastic brewer which makes it exciting.
What makes a beer hoppy?
The hops that are added to the beer give the beer its hop profile: the bitterness in the beer is from the hops that are added to the start of the boil, and the aroma is from the later addition of hops.
How many kinds of hops are there?
There are hundreds of different types of hops out in the market with new varieties coming out every year.
Do you have a personal favorite?
My favorite hop right now would be Sorachi Ace. I like the coconut aroma and tropical flavor that it produces.
What do you like about this event?
The best part of the event is that it brings a bunch of local brewers together and gives us the opportunity to try some of the best beers in the area.