Recap: Wynkoop Brewing’s hop-picking party

Colorado certainly has had its share of heat and moisture and hop plants are going crazy.

Belgorado hops, hoppy beers, Andy Brown

Plus, it’s soon to be wet hop season (cheers!).  Here’s how Wynkoop’s hop-picking party went for their upcoming Belgorado beer:

Yesterday morning we conducted the first hop “harvest” in downtown Denver in a long, long time.

For the fresh hops we used in the first 20-bbl. batch of Belgorado (our wet-hopped, all-Colorado ingredients, Belgian-style pale ale) we trucked (okay, vanned) in 50 heavy-with-hops vines from Colorado’s own Misty Mountain Hops.

We draped the vines over the railing of the Wynkoop Brewing Co. patio and our staff hand picked the hops from the vines. For a novel way to get especially fresh hops into a batch of beer. The aroma on the patio yesterday morning was wonderful!

Belgorado hops, pickin' party

The interest from people walking by was especially cool. “That’s what hops look like?” was a frequent comment. A few of our customers (and Dick Kreck, the Denver Post’s famed beer scribe) joined in to pick a few with us. It was great fun. A true hoppening.

We ended up with about 60 pounds of just-picked Chinook hops. These glorious cones were used in the beer yesterday afternoon.

The leftover vines and leaves were placed in our composting setup.

We brew a second batch of Belgorado in a couple weeks.




Belgorado hop farm

Belgorado hops closeup

Belgorado hops, Andrew Eaton brings in the harvest


Belgorado hops, CJ the Hop King

About Jess Hunter

Jess is a lady and a scholar. If she's not mulling over the various names of famous mustaches and their respective bitter cocktails, she's nibbling on American Craft Singles and Cantillon. Connect with her by email at