Spring 2017 Newsletter


“Oh, this beer here is cold, cold and hop-bitter, no point coming up for air, gulp, till it's all--hahhhh.”
— Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

Well, Almost Spring...

It’s looking like highs in the low 60’s for the next bit, so let’s just pretend, shall we?

We’re settling in nicely to our new one-store situation, though we still hear from folks stopping on Olive St before heading down so help us spread the word! It’s been a positive move in our efforts to keep your prices down in this competitive market. We’re also happy to be open at 10am seven days a week in the same spot! As always we send you all mad love for such continued support. Now more than ever we treasure you supporting your local homebrew shop, eleven years strong!

We’re bringing in Niwot Farms organically grown rhizomes again this year, early April. Hops are a fabulous addition to your garden, look and smell great, and are super fun to showcase in your homebrew. If you have the space, check in around late March and we should have a good ETA for you.

Winemakers: we have our monthly re-up of WinExpert kits coming in late this week. Feel free to call for availability of your favorite style, or just drop in and peruse. We are always happy to take down your info and bring in anything available on our next shipment as well. We have some fun Island Mist kits in there: Pom Zin, Sangria, Rasp Merlot, Apple Riesling, Strawberry/Lychee Traminer, Cuke/Melon Sauv blanc and more! You brewers with a kegging setup, talk to us about how easy and awesome it is to knock one of these out and carbonate to put on draft. Dangerous!

It seems we are a bit heavy on some of our books here, so next visit be sure to check out our discount rack. Lots of Zymurgy and Craft Beer & Brewing past issues, as well as Classic Beer Style Series books and others.

Also, please follow us on FaceBook if you aren’t already. It’s a great way to keep up on new products as they come in, and an occasional FB-exclusive flash sale.

Seasonal Yeast Strains

Wyeast’s and White Labs new year seasonals are in stock. (As always, if you missed the previous selection, give us a ring and we may still have a couple on the shelf.) In a couple of weeks we’ll see White Labs March strains as well, listed below. We know a number of you have been digging on the WLP860 Helles strain, not really sure how much to bring in this round. If you want to be sure to get a hold of one or two, give us a heads up. It really is a fantastic workhorse for nearly every lager style.

Wyeast has some of our favorite UK-style strains out. The Cask Ale makes a phenomenal Bitter, and when treated right also does a great job on British Barleywines and Old Ales.

White Labs Essex continues to grow in popularity for flavorful, dry British ales. Someone needs to do a comparison of this and the Wy Cask, amirite?

Hit the links below to find out more.
Some of these will sell out quickly and repeatedly so give us a ring if you want one ear-marked for you.

Wyeast (Jan-March):

White Labs (Jan-Feb)

White Labs (Mar-Apr)

New Items!

  • Root Shoot Malting is getting some buzz around Colorado. New guys in the malting biz, they’ve been grown barley for generations. We recently toured their malting facility in Loveland and were impressed with their top-notch knowledge and equipment. We’ll be featuring their Odyssey Pilsner in our upcoming mashing class, and will have that as well as their Genie Pale malts for sale in the grain room. As with any malt, we are happy to bring in sacks for you at a bulk discount, so check out their webpage and let us know what interests you.
  • Speaking of grain, beyond the grain room we also have Weyermann’s Barke Pilsner in stock. It’s tucked away with the Kölsch and Rice Malt. Ask for it at the counter. We plan on doing a side-by-side with Weyermann’s standard Bavarian Pilsner, but apparently it does a good job keeping it’s low color during the boil, and has a great diastatic power, making it a great choice for really pale lagers as well as adjunct-heavy beers where you’re wanting for more enzymes. Give it a shot and report back!
  • New Hops! We try our best here not to only have the trusty standards of Golding, Cascade, Citra, Hallertau, etc., but a broad array of the massive world of hops available these days. Stuck on an island, a good brewer can get by with a mound of Cascade, but you don’t have that misfortune! Among the 75 pellet and 27 leaf varieties, we just received some Idaho 7, Kazbek, El Dorado, Jerrylo to add to the pile. You can always find a somewhat current list on our website here.
  • Unbranded Forward-Seal SS Faucets, for $20 cheaper than the Perle? We’ve disassembled them and near as we can tell they come from the exact same factory, same replacement parts, etc., just no giant “P” on the front. If you want the top-of-the-line faucet design and want to save some coin for your next brew, these are for you.
  • ColdBreak Pre-Chillers are here, just in time for the warm months. 12.5′ of coiled copper ready to drop in a bucket of ice water to get your chill water super cold on its way to your chiller. Whether you use an immersion, plate or counterflow chiller, keeping that temp differential high is key to a quick chill, which is critical for that cold break, arresting DMS production and general sanitation.
  • Cobalt fliptop bottles may be going bye-bye! Our vendors are trying to find a new producer, but for now we’ve brought in a small wall of 500ml that may very well be “it.” We will keep an eye out for more, but if these things are your jam, come and get ’em while you can.

A Word About Liquid Yeast

Hops and Berries carries the full line of Wyeast and White Labs brewing yeast, but some of the more obscure strains come in limited quantities. There are a number of fun barrel projects going on the area, so if you know you’re going to want a Wyeast Lambic Blend, or four vials of Brett Claus for instance, give us a heads-up and we’ll order it in and earmark it for you. Same for liquid wine, cider or sake yeasts. We’re happy to get these in for you but considering the highly perishable nature, to keep your costs down we don’t keep many of these on hand. Most strains are available within a week or two.

Hop of the Month

Everyone has heard of El Dorado by now, thanks to a particularly “juicy” IPA just south of us. We invite you to try this dual-use hop in pretty much any beer that wants some tropical fruity aromas. Certainly a good choice for pales and IPA’s, but this would really work in a New World pale lager, Saison, or even a Tropical Stout. 12.9% AA gives you plenty of bittering power, so you could certainly do a SMASH beer as well. Featured it in our House IPA, Pale, Amber and Saison kits.

Featured Extract Kit

“A Beer Has No Name”
What’s lightweight, jet black and bitter throughout? Our session black IPA is what. Though it clocks in at just over 4% abv, don’t let it’s weight fool you. An ounce each of Simcoe and Galaxy at 60, then again at zero followed by two ounces of El Dorado steeped, this one is sure to stick you with the pointy end.
4.2% ABV, 36 SRM, 56 IBU’s.
(We’re brewing this one up at our March class, so if you brew it check back and we can compare!)

Recipe Of The Month

<<We rocked this recipe last year and it was so tasty we’re going to throw it at you again. That WY3522 sure makes for an easy drinking Belgian Pale. Only suggestion would be to throw another ounce of Aramis in at the end of the boil to bring that herbal/spicy aroma out even more. It’s your beer, do what you like!>>

“May Flowers” is a perfect choice for those warm spring days we know are coming. A clean Belgian Pale with a liberal dose of floral hops that linger well into the finish. Bready Belgian Pale makes up the bulk of the grain bill, helped along with a couple of toasty sweet specialty malts. If you haven’t seen how nicely Mt Reinier and Alsatian Aramis hops play together, you should really give this one a try.

Mash efficiency: 75%   ~   Kettle/fermenter loss: 2qt
Gravities: 1.054 – 12    ~   IBU: 28   ~   ABV: 5.6%
9# Castle Pale Malt
1# Weyermann CaraBelge crystal malt
.75# Castle Biscuit malt
.25# Weyermann CaraAmber
Mash at 150° for an hour.

1 oz Aramis pellet (6.5%AA) – 60 min
.75 oz Mt. Reinier pellet (6.1%AA) – 15 min

Chill to 65°F, oxygenate/aerate and pitch plenty of

White Labs WLP510 or 072, Wyeast 3522 or 3942, or your cleanish Belgian strain.
Ferment in the mid 60’s until finished (8-12 days), transfer to secondary and add:
1 oz Aramis pellet
1.25 oz Mt Reinier pellet

after four or five days transfer to packaging as usual.

Substitute Belgian Pale with 6.8# Briess Golden Light LME

Steep specialty grains in 1.5 gallons @150-160° for twenty minutes.
Hop and ferment as above.