Casey Brewing and Upslope Team Up
We couldn’t be more excited to announce our newest collaboration brew, Hop Slope, which we teamed up with Casey Brewing and Blending to produce. This collaboration is a Farmhouse Saison brewed with local Glenwood Springs honey and hopped with Nelson Sauvin, El Dorado, Galaxy, and Mosaic hops. If that description alone didn’t get you stoked to try this limited release saison, we just don’t know what will…
From the desk of Upslope Head Brewer, Sam Scruby, here is the story and inspiration behind our newest collaboration beer release, Hop Slope.
The Story of Hop Slope
“I’m originally from Glenwood Springs and had heard rumors of a new brewery opening in my hometown back in 2014, which made me really excited. I didn’t know anything about it, but I went to go investigate anyway. This was the first time I met Troy Casey. The brewery (or more correctly, the blending house) was not open yet, but Troy was kind enough to give me a quick peek inside. I walked inside, and my first thought was, “where in the hell is all the stainless steel?” While touring breweries, I’ve grown accustomed to following shiny piping, checking out new/stainless/etc. equipment, and looking at dubious ergonomic choices for the various pieces involved in producing wort/beer. Instead, What I saw was a room with scattered barrels and a single brite tank sitting in the middle of the relatively empty warehouse. This was definitely a different look from what I was used to, but it seemed like Troy knew what he was doing and I figured I would come back when there was beer.
At the 2016 Big Beers and Barleywines Festival in Vail, I found myself hanging out in the lobby of the Cascade Lodge, already reminiscing about the high octane tasting I just attended but enjoying a light pilsner even more. I ran into Troy and we decided it would be fun to collaborate on a beer to celebrate being from Glenwood Springs, or liking hockey, or because it sounded like a good idea after Big Beers. I was also extremely excited, as Casey Brewing and Blending had collected quite the reputation for their beers – like 2015 RateBeer.com’s “Best New Brewery.”
For the brewday, we had the entire Casey Brewing and Blending Crew at the Upslope Lee Hill brewery- Jack, Eric, John, and Troy. We settled on a very light grain bill- pilsner, vienna, and wheat with a touch of honey from Glenwood Springs. The grain bill was meant to provide a light, clean backbone to let the hops shine through. We spent much of the morning determining the hops we wanted to include in the beer – “game day decision” as I like to say. After rubbing pellets, sneezing on hop dust and discussing the finer characteristics of each hop (my new favorite description for Nelson Sauvin – “smells like clear gummy bears”), we settled on Nelson Sauvin, Mosaic, and El Dorado. All of these hops exhibit a distinctive, fruit driven aroma like apricot, white wine, mango, blueberry and pear. With a robust late-hopping schedule (just under 2lbs/bbl), we knocked out the wort and the Casey crew headed back to Glenwood to transfer the beer to their open topped puncheon fermentors.
Hop Slope is Almost Here!
Flash forward 6 months, the beer has matured in neutral oak barrels and is ready for the next step – an enormous dry hop. The Upslope brewing team assembled some of our favorite hops and a couple bottles of Casey Brewing and Blending’s East Bank Saison to discuss what elements would fit best with their mixed culture fermentation character. We loved the marriage of funk and fruit, and elected to go with two of our favorite hops from the Southern Hemisphere- Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy. Troy and his team received the hops and were able to do their own assessment in Glenwood Springs, and came to the same conclusion on the hop blend. Dry hopped at a rate of 3lbs/bbl, this beer blurs the lines of a farmhouse saison and ludicrously hopped American IPA.
We had a great time working with the Casey Brewing and Blending, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the process involved in a completely different approach to beer production. The beer is currently available at the Casey Brewing and Blending tasting room (purchase tickets ahead of time). Rumor has it, a case or two is destined for Boulder…”