2014 Hops HarvestingI smelled the aroma of freshly picked hops for the first time this summer, thanks to a first-year crop of Columbus hops pulled from my dad’s garden in mid-September.

The rhizomes, purchased from a local brew shop, grew amazingly well — even better than I had hoped for the first year. Side note: I also purchased some Centennial rhizomes online that, sadly, did not perform as well.

Once we planted the hops in the spring, I got the bug to brew my first IPA. It was an extract kit from Salt City Brew Supply, complete with an ounce of dry hopping five days before bottling. It turned out mighty tasty, if I do say so myself.2014 Hops Growing

2014 Hops Growing 2

So fast forward to September and harvest day on the Haran Hops Farm. My dad and I picked a good supply and he did all the heavy lifting of drying, turning, and packaging the hops for me to use in a future brew.

That future brew turned out to be a Northern Brewer Black IPA (thanks to my wife for getting me that kit for my birthday), and I tossed in “a few handfuls” (that’s the exact measurement) of the delicious-smelling Columbus hops.

2014 Black IPA Kit

2014 Black IPA FermentIt’s currently conditioning in bottles. I’m anxiously awaiting a crisp fall day and the perfect opportunity to crack open a cold one. I’m guessing I’ll especially love the aroma from this beer.

Update: I opened the first bottle in early October and really enjoyed it. Pitch black, well-balanced with a very nice hop aroma. This one will be great for fall.