This past June, Head Brewer Irena Wise received a message from a gentleman at River Hills Hops, a local hop farm in Mount Wolf, PA. They were interested in a potential partnership for a Winding Path Brewing craft beer.
Having previously brewed out West, Irena was no stranger to working with local hop farms. She was eager to jump on this opportunity with River Hills Hops. They’re not only from the East Coast, but basically in Dallastown’s backyard! After reviewing her portfolio of possible upcoming beers for Winding Path, Irena had the perfect one for a collaboration.
A pilsner on draft at Wyndridge Farm.
On Irena’s first visit to River Hills Hops, she pulled into a long gravel driveway that was aligned with dozens of hop trellises. She drove up to the farm to immediately be greeted by two dogs– Biscuit & Gravy. Established in 2017, River Hills Hops was Co-Founded by Curtis McFadden & Dan Gross. Originally business colleagues (McFadden from sales and Gross a pumpkin farmer), both had mutual interest in growing hops to produce a viable agriculture product. They started out growing only Nugget and Cascade hops, and expanded their varieties in the past year which included Triple Pearl hops. Triple Pearl and Nugget hops were the two strains Irena needed to create the pilsner.
In August the 30 barrel brew began. Eleven pounds of Triple Pearl hops were used for the beer’s aroma and flavor. This hop added a noticeable floral, herbal, woodland and lemon flavor, creating just the right balance for this style of beer – a modern Pilsner with mid-Atlantic ingredients. The Nugget hops were contributed to add a little bitterness.
Come September, the pilsner was ready to rock n’ roll on draft at The Farm. BUT…it was missing a proper name. CEO Jason Reese and Irena started spit balling ideas. Irena was very proud to partner with River Hills Hops and wanted to keep the name simple. She crafted this pilsner to showcase their hops.
“What about naming it after River Hills Hops? River Hills Pilsner?” Irena said.
“River Hills Pils.” Added Reese. BINGO. River Hills Pils was it. Irena texted McFadden for the approval and they replied immediately, “YES!”. They loved the idea, wanted to know where it was going to be featured and when they could try it.
Irena was thrilled about this experience and looks forward to continuing working with River Hill Hops. River Hills Pils is now available on draft at Wyndridge Farm. It’s a must try farm exclusive.