Hops: Fresh Hop Brew Day happens once a year, during hop harvest in early August. The 2019 class has already passed. If you’d like to hear about the 2020 class, get on our email list. Thanks for your interest!
Let’s brew the freshest-hopped beer in the world! In this brand new class, you’ll brew on a Sonoma County hop farm, with hops that YOU picked off the vine. And as always in our classes, you’ll walk away with at least a 6-pack of bomber bottles of fresh-hopped beer that YOU made.
We’ll get to hang out at beautiful Capracopia farm in Sebastopol, where farmer Scott Bice is bringing hop growing back to the Bay Area. His outstanding hops are grown organically, with Cascade, Columbus, Chinook, Centennial, Cashmere, Comet, and Crystal climbing the strings in the field. He’ll help us find the individual vines that are at their peak for harvesting, and we’ll be able to pick the cones and use them in our brews.
Scott will take us through the fields and talk to us about the hop growing process, the unique challenges and rewards of being a small, organic farm, and how he works with local brewers to bring outstanding fresh-hopped beers to you.
We’ll brew at least 3 different 5 gallon batches; you’ll work with a few partners on a beer of your choosing (obviously a hop-focused beer, no oatmeal stouts this time!). You’ll do the whole process from beginning to end, selecting and milling the malts, adding extract, and of course, picking and adding the fresh hops. While we’ll discuss the general brewing process a bit, we’ll really focus on the hops in this class. We'll have an educational tasting of lots of different hoppy beers, and we'll bring lunch for you too!
We’ll gather again in our studio in SF about two weeks later to bottle the beer. As always in our classes, you’ll walk away with at least a 6-pack of big 22-oz bomber bottles that you brewed!
Besides the awesome hops from Capracopia, we’ll also have 20-30 different commercial varieties with us on brew day. We’ll make ‘hop tea’ from many different varieties, helping us get acquainted with the unique flavors and aromas that each one can bring to your beer. We’ll also take a look at the other hop products that are available to brewers, including Hop Extract and “Cryo-hops” or “Hop-Hash.”
Hops from Capracopia farm, both fresh and dried, will be available for you to purchase and bring home.
The brewing session will take place at Capracopia farm in Sebastopol. It's about 75 minutes north of SF. You’ll need to get yourself to and from the farm. When everyone is signed up for the class, we’ll try to help people arrange carpools. If you don’t have a car, get in touch, I’m sure we can find someone to give you a ride.
There’s a bunch of great breweries and restaurants in Sebastopol and Sonoma County. Stick around for dinner and beers afterwards and make a day of it!
We’ll provide lunch for everyone, and snacks to munch on throughout the day. We’ll get in touch in advance to see if anyone has any special dietary needs.
Please note that this is the first time we’ve done this, so we appreciate your flexibility and dealing with little changes as we move forward. If there are any major changes to anything, we’ll get in touch with you in advance.
Brewing takes place at Capracopia Farm: 5480 Thomas Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Bottling takes place at the Mercurius Brew Lab: 726 15th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
8 hours total class time
You do the whole process from beginning to end - not a demo
Small classes - max of 12 people in class
Take home beer you made
Learn from a professional brewer
Learn from someone who's taught over 1000 people how to brew
Learn techniques no other class will teach you