How Resurgence Looks to Grow with Community

Resurgence Brewing is looking for a way to grow with its community. Literally. 

The Buffalo-area brewery started the “Hops to Pints” program in the spring of 2022 and grew hops with its consumers to create a beer this past fall called It Takes a Village Pale Ale which was made with the hop crop grown from those consumer’s Cascade rhizomes.

“It was nice making connections with people on a smaller level,” said Andrew Zach, the Director of Brewery Operations for Resurgence. “The program went well. We like the way that the beer turned out and everyone had a lot of fun.”

So much, Zach is doing it again, and this time they picked Vista as the hop to work with instead. 

“It’s a nice hop and opens it up so that we can do other styles,” Zach said. “It is a hop that a lot of people are kind of excited about. We don’t think it’s a hop that can be on the forefront but can be a good supporting hop. It’s light undertones of melon and good flavor, but it doesn’t really stand out like some of the Citra, Mosaics, Vic Secrets … and things like that. It just allowed us to make some other styles in this next batch. Also if you look at the hop cones, they grow really big and it’s a hearty hop. It’s not as susceptible as some of the other hops and can grow in this area.”

LISTEN: Jon Sicotte Talks with Andrew Zach About Hops to Pints Program

Zach, who also participates in the program himself (his Cascade’s didn’t do too well last year he said) and says those that sign up get an in-depth look at the process of making the beer.

“Everyone can participate in the first day where we did a brewery tour. We talked about how to grow hops, what to expect, and let people take their rhizomes home and grow them,” he said. They would check in from time to time with status updates and pictures on a Facebook group page created to see how things were going. 

During the summer they worked on creating a beer recipe, naming the beer, and planning the brewing and canning days, all of which they were invited to be a part of. In all, they planned four specific days to meet, in May to start planting; in August to plan out the beer; a Hop Harvest Brew Day in September, and finally the beer release in October.

“We tried a bunch of different Pale Ales to see what style people wanted,” Zach said. “Everything from a hazy Pale Ale to more traditional like Sierra Nevada’sWe talked about the recipe and came up with a style to know what we wanted it to taste like.

“A bunch came in on the brew day to throw their hops into the whirlpool and then also came in for canning day and were able to get some fresh beer right off the line.”

It wasn’t all wet hops for the 25-barrel batch and Zach said they supplemented the hops with pellets as needed to create a beer worth selling in the market.

The cost came down to purchasing some rhizomes from a hop farm in Michigan, on the prompt from a local hop yard in New York. Each consumer that took part in the event pays $50, which includes the rhizome, a pint at each meeting, and a four-pack of the beer upon the release date.

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