Friday, August 22, 2014

Green Wolf Brewing - Saying, Doing, Brewing All The Right Things

I first came across Green Wolf Brewing through my wife Dominique, who bought some for us to share at the Delmar Farmers Market. I was very much intrigued. Dom is a tough customer, but she was impressed by their commitment to local, and was willing to take them for a test drive.
Green Wolf Brewing says all the thing you want to here about when you here about small beer producers. They epitomize a new wave of Farm Brewers.
Green Wolf Brewing Co. is a licensed Farm Brewery located in the village of Middleburgh, NY – which is, in turn, located in scenic and historic Schoharie County. Schoharie County is within an hour’s drive of New York’s Capital District. They are committed to using local brewing grains, hops, honey, and as many other New York grown ingredients as possible.

First, they use local ingredients whenever possible. Green Wolf is trying to rely on locally grown and malted grains whenever possible. They also use as much locally grown New York hops in their beer.

Green Wolf brews daring beers – Black IPAs and complex ales and the list will go on - from bold and robust imperial porters, hop centric IPAs, Belgian inspired ales, and wheat beers. They also hope to develop a gluten free beer and non-alcoholic sodas.

(The tasting room under construction earlier this summer)

They are trying to create a carbon neutral brewery. As funding becomes available, Green Wolf has plans on installing a hot water solar thermal system to preheat water for their brew house, to reuse waste water, and letting farmers come by and pick up their spent grain to feed to their livestock. They also accept back their 22 ounce bottles – sanitize them, take off the old labels, then re-label and reuse them.

So far, I have had two beers from Green Wolf.
First was the Wit's End Weizenbock - This was a mahogony colored ale. Darker than I expected But it was bursting with flavor. Raisins, cloves, and vanilla all came through as promised. But a lovely, maltiness as well. 6% ABV. A really sensational, heady beer.
The second beer from them I had was the Ravens Black IPA. It was much bigger than I expected. Firstly, I've been disappointed by some Black IPAs. Water, dark beers with lots of hops. But knowing the body of the first beer I had from them, I was intrigued. And I was pleasantly surprised! This was a big, black mountain of a beer, piled high with dark chocolate and piney bittering hops. A nice big beer, with lovely sweetness up front, but bitter but floral Chinook hops at the end, that left the palate dry after taking a sip. Big and chewy. This was an incredibly well-balanced beer. Impressive! 
The two beers were big, robust, beautiful. Terrific. So it looks like I'll have to take a drive up to Schoharie County sometime soon...and I guess I'll have to give Dom some money to score some more for me at the green market asap.