ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Genesee Brewery is back on their old game — collaborative beers with other great New York companies. This time, they’re doing another new take on the Cream Ale: “The Hop State of Mind.”
This new brew combines the smoothness of the Cream Ale with a light hoppiness by blending the base Cream Ale with hops from Chimney Bluffs Hoppery from Syracuse. It’s all put together by Big aLICe Brewing in Queens.
It’s available on tap at the Genesee Brewhouse starting Tuesday.
The brewery also says that “for every three-pack of crowlers purchased, fans will receive a Hop State of Mind Cream Ale pint glass while supplies last, and the first 100 people to pick up their orders at the Brew House will receive a limited-edition poster!”
The pint glass, poster, and can label design were done by Syracuse artist Randy Hadzor.
This new collaboration follows the tradition of Genesee Brewery’s commitment to staying local.
“Genesee became the big brother of the New York state breweries, and we work to improve the quality of beer across New York state,” Jones said. “It was a no-brainer for us.
“We have the coolest tri-collaboration ever,” he said. “Kara — who is the hop goddess — and I have been talking about this for a couple years, and she sent me a text while she was brewing with Big aLICe, and she suggested a collab with Big aLICe.
“With those hops, I thought it would really jive with the Cream Ale. It was her idea from the start.”
Johnston says that this collaboration only took nine months to ferment, pandemic and all.
Jones says that that Big aLICe says the Cream Ale base is perfect with the artisan hops. He called them “handcrafted hops,” and the small flowering plants add a citrus aroma. Despite the hops, this Cream Ale is still a session beer.
“Highly crushable,” Jones said.
“It couldn’t be better,” Johnston said. “It starts out smooth, then there’s a little bit, the hop presence stays on your tongue, it’s beautiful.”
The star of the show are the hops. Jones said that a significant blight in the 1930’s took New York State down from one of the best hop producers in the country.
But hearing Johnston discuss her hops, it’s easy to see how Chimney Bluffs might be the one to bring hops back to the Empire State.
“The terroir is different in New York state,” she said. “We’re surrounded by apples, so it lends to some of the flavors. We have a loamy soil — it’s like a sand — so the roots can go really deep, which makes the hops grow really high and makes the super happy.
“Learning what they like and what they don’t like is a big part of it. But we’re farmers, and we can figure it out,” she said. “Everything we put in the ground seems to be growing really well.”
Johnston says that they grow many hops on the farm, but two were used to create this beer.
“We have Cashmere hop, which is a beautiful and bright citrus hop, and then we use Columbia hops, which as a pineapple flavor to it,” she said.
Jon Kielty, the brewmaster at Big aLICe, added this in a statement:
“Everything we do at Big aLICe is rooted in supporting community and this state we all love so much. We love working with New York-grown ingredients and collaborating with our fellow New York State brewers. We were so excited when Kara and Dean reached out to us with this collaboration idea as it ties together so many things we’re passionate about. To brew a twist on a beer that is so iconic here in New York, with a brewery with such a rich history, has been a high point for us as brewers.”