Tucked away in a rural town in Oregon lies Steens Mountain Brewing--one of the state's smallest breweries. Here, owner Richard Roy is using a unique approach to brewing beer: foraging wild hops. Each beer is made using the hops he finds in the wild, making them truly one of a kind. Experience all the flavor and uniqueness of Steens Mountain Brewing and its wild-hop beers today.
When it comes to craft brewing, the core ingredients of the beer-making process are, of course, the hops. Without them, beer just wouldn't be beer. The delicious, bitter hops add layers of flavour and aroma that hold the drink together and make it truly unique, and at Steens Mountain Brewing, situated in a small town in rural Oregon, the owners take that to a whole new level.
Established in 2015, Steens Mountain Brewing is a small-town dream come true; an ambitious, innovative microbrewery whose owner, Richard Roy, is passionate about sourcing hops from wild locations around the state of Oregon. When it comes to Steens Mountain Brewing, it's all about sourcing, savouring and celebrating the unique flavours of the state.
What makes Roy's process unique is that he only sources hops from the wild. His mantra is "if you're going to make beer, why not make it somewhere special?" By harvesting his hop crop from deep in the heart of Oregon's wild places, Roy is able to create beers that are truly unique, with flavors that express their location and evoke the spirit of the places where they were grown.
Foraging for wild hops means that Roy can take advantage of different varieties of hops that aren't available commercially, giving him a wider range of flavours to work with. Secondly, Roy is able to ensure that the hops are organic and sustainably harvested, protecting the environment from the effects of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Of course, sourcing hops from the wild comes with its own unique set of problems. Established hops farms are able to provide a steady, reliable supply of the key ingredient, but wild hops can be unpredictable in their availability. This is why Roy has to go out into the wild himself and search for hops each year – it's a labour-intensive process, and one that can be hindered by the weather and other factors.
The other major challenge that Roy faces when brewing with wild hops is the variability of the hops from year to year. Each year's harvest has its own unique personality, and Roy has to continuously adjust his recipes and brewing processes in order to make sure that each batch of beer is the best it can be.
Despite the difficulties of working with wild hops, there are some major advantages to the process; most notably, the level of freshness and flavor that wild hops provide. Wild hops are picked and used much more quickly than those commercially grown, ensuring that the beer has a vibrant, intense hop flavor that can't be matched.
Richards passion for brewing authentic, wild beers with hops he has discovered himself gives Steens Mountain Brewing an unmistakable. It is truly a unique experience, and one that is sure to appeal to many craft beer enthusiasts. It is a testament to Roy's commitment, his dedication to the land, and his enthusiasm for producing some of the most exciting and unique beers in Oregon.
If you’re in the area, do stop by and sample the diverse range of wild beers from Steens Mountain Brewing- you won’t be disappointed!
Steens Mountain Brewing is a testament to Richard's passion for collecting wild hops and producing truly Oregonian beers. By foraging for wild hops, Roy is able to create beers that are truly unique, with flavors that express the spirit and natural beauty of the places where the hops were grown.