Heavy Seas Brewing is Releasing Altimore Ale Brewed with Monocacy Hops

Heavy Seas Brewing is Releasing Altimore Ale Brewed with Monocacy Hops

Altimore Ale

Heavy Seas Brewing Company is releasing Altimore Ale – an Altbier that will be using the Maryland own varietal hop – Monocacy. This is a unique varietal hop that is Maryland own and was discovered in the 1960s by Dr. Ray Edgar.

From Heavy Seas press release:

 

A Genetically Unique Hop: Discovered in the late 1960s by Dr. Ray Edigar, the Monocacy hop remained a hidden gem until recently. Unaware of its rarity and Maryland origin, Dr. Edigar grew the hop in his garden for years. He recently partnered with researchers at the University of Maryland Extension to test the plant’s DNA-sequence, and when the results came back, they learned that the hop was completely genetically unique and native to Maryland. The Monocacy hop is distinguished by its distinct chemical profile & adaptability to Maryland’s hot, humid climate.

Heavy Seas Brewing Company

The target date for the beer’s release will be October 20th (2023) at the Heavy Seas Taproom. It will be available on draft, and to go in the form of crowlers and growlers. Heavy Seas Brewing Company is hoping to release more Monocacy hop beers in 2024.

Monocacy Hops

(See our article here on Monocacy Hops.)

Monocacy Hops Growing on the Vine

The Monocacy Hop varietal has been growing in the Maryland and DC Area since the 1960s; originally on a farm by a retired veterinarian – who claimed he liked to grow them for the shade they provided.

The hop varietal is genetically distinct from wild hops – neomexicanus and other wild hop variants. It is also the only native and organic to Maryland grown hop that has achieved unique genetic distinction.

Typically most American grown hops come from the Yakima Valley area of Washington State; despite there being numerous other hop farms across the country – this is the most widely distributed and the ‘best growing’ region of the country.

 

The Monocacy hop offers spicy, herbaceous, floral aromatics. For our inaugural brew, we chose to craft an Altbier, a traditional German beer style, using whole-flower Monocacy hops for bittering and finishing, which should provide a really nice aroma to this beer.

Chris Leonard – Heavy Seas Brewmaster and Director of Operations

Last winter the first commercial batches of beer, about forty pounds of pelletized dried Monocacy hops harvested in the fall of 2022 from a rebuilt UMD hop yard, made their way to Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm where that same brewer, Tom Barse, owner of Milkhouse, made three beers with Monocacy: a light lager, a Vienna-style lager, and a pale ale. These were released in the on-site taproom as part of the annual “FeBREWary – Maryland Craft Beer Lovers Month” that is perhaps best known in DC for the Love Thy Beer festival in Silver Spring.

Monocacy, Maryland’s Hop At Heavy Seas Brewing

Brewing with Monocacy Hops

On September 21st 2023, Heavy Seas Beer visited the Western Maryland Research & Education Center, where the Maryland-native hop is currently growing, to witness the harvesting of the Monocacy hop. They then hand collected and hand-picked wet hops directly from the vine. Immediately after the harvest, the Heavy Seas Brewing team returned to Halethorpe to brew a batch of beer using this hop. This is referred to as “Fresh Hop Brewing” or “Wet Hopping” for brewing IPAs.

Release

The target date for the beer’s release will be October 20th (2023) at the Heavy Seas Taproom. It will be available on draft, and to go in the form of crowlers and growlers. Heavy Seas Brewing Company is hoping to release more Monocacy hop beers in 2024.

Heavy Seas Brewing

The following information comes from Untappd. Heavy Seas Brewing or Heavy Seas Beer is a regional brewery from Baltimore / Halethorpe, MD. They have 883 unique beers and over 1 Million ratings, with a global average rating of 3.66 (as of 10.10.23). Their Untappd description reads: Heavy Seas Beer began in 1995 and has grown to become one of the most respected and award winning craft breweries on the east coast. Captaining the helm is our founder Hugh Sisson with decades of experience in developing, producing and marketing fine beers. As the first pub brewer in Maryland, Hugh was responsible for the legislation that made brewpubs legal in the state. Fearless. Bold. Independent.

You can find them on the following social media:

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