Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Delafield Brewhaus Bier Garden - a Lovely Place to Watch the Sun Set

The Brewhaus’ Bier Garden is just about the loveliest spot to watch the sun set.
From late spring until fall, folks come from all over to enjoy its hilltop seclusion. As the day winds down, the sky is painted pink and violet, orange and purple. Pine trees shelter our guests from the wind and the hop vines wind their way up toward the sky. Our hops remind us that brewing is intimately tied to nature, and watching them grow reminds us of all the amazing things about them.  Here are a few to consider:

  • Hops only succeed in latitudes between 35-55 degrees south. Delafield is located right in this sweet spot at 43 degrees. Most American hop farms are located in the Pacific Northwest. In part, this is because of good growing conditions, but also because their hop farms survived Prohibition by shipping their crops to Asia.
  • 90% of all climbing vines grow counterclockwise; hops grow clockwise.
  • Hopheads know that the bitterness in hops comes from the resin they secrete, lupulin, which also makes beer foamy and extends its shelf life. (Extra credit: “lupulin” is latin for “little wolf.” The Romans thought that hop plants could strangle trees!)
  • Hop plants are male and female, but females can reproduce without the males. In fact, hop farmers prefer it (brewers don’t want seedy hop cones).
  • In their growing season, hops grow six inches a day.
  • John Harrison, our Brewmaster, grows Cascade hops around our Bier Garden. He uses them in his Hop Harvest IPA, and they helped it  win a Silver medal at the 2014 World Beer Championship.

It won’t be long now until the brisk autumnal breeze closes patio season at the Delafield Brewhaus, but until then please join us there, surrounded by hop, sipping some of the best brews around! We look forward to serving you….

Thursday, September 3, 2015

It seems like Fall came in last week, heralded by tornado sirens and a trip to the basement. I’ve seen a few leaves on the ground, and yesterday I wore a scarf. All these signals lead my imagination to Oktoberfest.

Yes, I know: it’s only August, but it’s barely August, and Oktoberfest doesn’t wait for October, so it’s closer than it sounds. Every year the Delafield Brewhaus throws a huge party to celebrate gemutlichkeit and we welcome our guests for the ceremonial tapping of the keg, traditional German food and live polka music - with dancing - in the hop garden. It’s not unusual to see your neighbors in lederhosen and dirndls, toasting each other’s health and long life with exquisite beer in steins from exotic travels.

If you’ve been to our parties, you know it’s a very fine time. Here are a few things you might not know about Oktoberfest. Read on, and amaze your friends!

The first Oktoberfest was a marriage feast for a Bavarian king and his Saxonian bride, and more than 200 years later, the festival is still held in that very same meadow. Early attractions included horse racing and carnival rides. The original site has been updated, as modern threats warrant security upgrades. These upgrades, however, cannot protect revelers from themselves, and the locals have a name for over-indulgers: bierleichen (“little corpses”).

In 2006, Paris Hilton arrived in a dirndl to promote canned wine, and was promptly shut down and shut out. Locals would not stand for the idea of her profiting off of their cultural identity.

Two years later, a more suitable female was celebrated for breaking with world’s record for most steins successfully carried. Bavarian waitress Anita Schwartz, with five steins in each hand and nine more balanced atop them, delivered them about 120 feet and set them down -- all without spilling a single drop. To put this in perspective, her armload weighed about 90 pounds. Please do not ask your Delafield Brewhaus bar staff to recreate this challenge, or attempt it yourself.

Our Oktoberfest parties are famous in the neighborhood, and we encourage you to join us, up on the hill. Whether you are new to the festivity, or a seasoned veteran, we look forward to sharing this party with you. Ein Prosit!