The most evident fixtures at Blue Lake Hops and Gardens are the multiple 18-foot high trellises on which the varieties of Humulus Lupulus grow, tall stands of ALPHAROMA, SORACHI ACE AND COLUMBIA hops. It had been more than 100 years since the State of Michigan had commercial hops growing efforts. With the popularity of both craft brewing and the movement towards local farm to table efforts, Blue Lake Hops became one of the early 21st Century efforts to make it possible for Michigan to again have "local brews".
After a few years of growing hops, we noticed an interesting void in the market. For centuries hops have been harvested and processed in the same way. The hops are taken off the vine then dried, and this dried product is then used in the beer making process. With the advent of machinery, these dried hops were taken from a whole leaf dried hop and further processed into a pellet. This processing technique is known to degrade the potency of the alpha and beta acids in the final product. Recently Cryo hops have come into the market. This product is created by freezing dry hops and extracting the essential oils and bittering compounds and leaving behind the fibrous material. However, there is still not a product on the market that utilizes fresh wet hops directly out of the farmers field.
Alpha and beta acids (among many other compounds) are responsible for both the bittering and aromas of your favorite beers. Most of the bittering and aroma qualities lie in a yellow sticky powder(lupulin) contained within the cone of a hop. The process of drying and pelletizing the hops causes much of the lupulin present in the fresh hop to be lost.
For centuries it has been common for breweries to take a portion of the harvest of wet hops and create a harvest ale. Although, harvest ale is not a style of beer, it is something that most brewers associate with the fall harvest of both grain and hops. Most harvest ales are made with wet hops no more than 24 hours from being removed from the vine. These harvest ales are packed with both the bittering and aroma qualities of your favorite hops; and offer a rich hop aroma and flavor, not found in traditionally hopped beers.
Just as ‘garden fresh’ tomatoes, carrots, broccoli or just off the vine fruit have flavor characteristics that are difficult to preserve, so is the challenge to bring to Brewers the opportunity to have the freshness of a Harvest Quality Brew throughout the year.
Blue Lake Hops is the first to develop a process that allows for fresh hop additions to your favorite beers year-round. Imagine brewing an ale with hops as fresh as the day they were removed from the bine in the middle of January. “The Blue Lake Process” ™ allows you to do just that. "The Blue Lake Process"™ utilizes fresh hops right off the bine, and through a complex state of the art freezing process, provides you with a product that is as fresh as the day it was picked. “The Blue Lake Process”™ seals in the freshness and potency of fresh wet hops for use any time of the year.
We are reaching out to homebrewers to help with our product development process. Homebrewers have a unique view of the craft beer market. New products are constantly inundating the market, and, as homebrewers, you often get to experience what’s new in the brewing market even before the breweries. Blue Lake Hops is offering Michigan homebrewers the first opportunity to try our new product. We are counting on you as experts in the art of brewing to provide us with valuable feedback on how our Blue Lake Hops subjected to “The Blue Lake Process”™, effected your beer.
In September of 2018 we processed our first test batch of 100lbs of locally grown Michigan Cascade hops. For a limited time only, you can pick up a product development package with 1.25lbs of these fresh Cascade hops.
Hoportunist Hot Spot
8930 Water St.
Montague, MI 49437
2840 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Go 2 Homebrew Supply
3371 Mc Cracken St
Norton Shores, MI 49441
We ask that after you purchase one of these products you click on the link below and answer a short survey about your experience using the product and how it effected your beer. Your feedback is very important to us and will be used as we further develop and market this product. So, sit back, relax, have a home brew and give us your feedback. Help us break the mold on traditional hopping methods.
After you complete the survey you will be sent an email with a gift certificate for $25 dollars to the local homebrew shop that you purchased our product at. Your feedback is very important to us and we value your opinion. Please accept this gift as thanks for your invaluable feedback on our product.Take Our Survey