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Long Root Ale

BREWERY: HOPWORKS URBAN BREWERY
SIZE: 12 oz
ABV: 5.5%

A lot of beer drinkers like to “do good” while drinking. I’m sure it is just another excuse to have another glass but it makes you feel better about your (over)consumption. Anything from a pint night for a good cause to drinking local has been used as an excuse to drink more beer. Well The Hopworks Urban Brewery in Oregon and Patagonia teamed up to give you another reason to feel warm and fuzzy while you drink. They made a beer with Kernza. Kernza is a wheat grain that doesn’t need to be replanted year after year. There are environmental benefits to that. One of those being the ground isn’t annually plowed which allows Carbon to escape. Another being the deep 10 foot plus root system that lets the plants find more water requiring less irrigation.

I think it’s awesome the possibilities this creates for a more conscious beer, especially if it makes it into some of the big brands. There are still some things to overcome though. The grain is difficult to brew with, with issues similar to brewing with large quantities of regular wheat. There are things in the works to overcome this however. Another possible issue could be the flavor. It has a good flavor, but could be overpowering in larger quantities, kind of like a rye would be. Long Root Ale only uses 15% Kernza in it. Even this makes an environmental  difference and I’m sure 15% of the macro beers out there would make an enormous difference. Not to mention almost everything else going in this beer is Organic.

Long Root Ale is a light golden rust color. It smells like a slightly spicy pale ale with a hop aroma that we’ve come to like with all the “session” beers out there. There is a slight bitterness in the taste, maybe from a combination of the hops and the grain. It has a really nice mouth-feel with a body similar to a beer brewed with conventional grains. Overall this beer drinks really smoothly. It is light, not overpowering and can easily be enjoyed as a lawnmower beer or hold it’s own with flavor and uniqueness when you’re nerding out over beer with friends.

Scott Simmons
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