As we approach the summer solstice, we edge closer to the energetic apogee of the year. These California summers, the same as summers everywhere, are glory days. The entire world is making hay, so to speak. All the living creatures are working hard, growing seeds, preparing tasty things to eat and drink to carry us through the darker days of the year ahead.
People have enjoyed beer as a small daily celebration of these summertime toils and accomplishments for thousands of years, and, we love it for that.
We crafted our featured beer for Summer 2024 using Edelweiss barley sourced from the Sugar Creek Malt Company in Indiana. As a third-generation family business, they are the only grower in the world to be working with this historical brewing variety. Caleb and his wife, Whitney, travelled to Europe to procure this long-forgotten barley from a seedbank, hoping to discover the flavors and textures lost over the last two centuries in the rush towards bigger, faster, more predictable industrial production.
We believe they have found a winner, based on flavor, and it serves as a reminder to keep focused on what’s important as we go along here.
Barley breeding around the world has been fixated on maximizing yield, enhanced disease resistance, and optimizing brewery performance, with flavor and nutrition taking a backseat. While these technical attributes are important, our paramount reason for drinking beer lies in its sensory experience—its flavor and texture—rather than metrics like yield per bushel or brewing speed.
May this Edelweiss Hanabi Lager serve as a reminder to keep our eye on the prize, and prioritize the things that matter most to us. To keep life magical, to marvel as the wild roses unfurl as we move towards warmer days, and to let that beauty excite us for the adventures that lay ahead this summer.