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Making beer with Outer Range Brewing Co. is an annual delight




Secret Parties is this year’s Summit Club beer made by Outer Range. Club members voted on which hops to use in the recipe.
Jefferson Geiger / Summit Daily News

I’ve done homebrew exactly twice in my life. It was a lot of fun, but the time, energy, and fridge space it took unfortunately kept my kit on the dust-collecting shelf.

Despite my inexperience, I have also worked with Friscos Outer Range Brewing Co. for special releases sort of twice.

While I wasn’t physically involved in the brewing process, I and other members of the Brewing Summit Club voted on what ingredients to use to make a dry-hopped double Indian lager. It gives regular people the chance to get a taste of what’s going on behind the scenes while learning more about beer.

The idea for committee collaboration arose last year when the brewery was looking to engage the community during the pandemic. Outer Range simply gifted members the exclusive Summit Club beer at the party of 2019, but the team got creative when 2020 meant no party.

So instead, people were given hop samples and participated in a virtual sensory training where they smelled the different hops, took notes on the aroma, described the hops in a poll and voted for their top three. The positive reception brought the event back for another double IPA this fall.

Double IPAs tend to have more flavor than single IPAs, but they are more accessible than a triple, co-owner Emily Cleghorn said she sticks to style. When you go beyond double dry hopping, you really start to go into diminishing returns. The double dry hopped is that sweet point of flavor.

Released on October 2, 2020, the first beer was made with Citra Cryo, Strata and Talus HBC 692 hops, with unselected Wai-iti, Hallertau Mittelfruh, Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic. The end result was still tasty even though I voted for Talus, Hallertau and Nelson.

This year’s beer, called Secret Parties, has been canned exclusively for members and is currently available to the general public following its release on November 5. Outer Range sent fewer hop samples but changed things by allowing the base malt vote.

Pale malt beat Pilsen by 57.4%, while the popular Galaxy hops got 50 votes and El Dorado and Columbus both got 34 votes each. Motueka and Tettnang, for whom I voted alongside Galaxy, got only 27 and 17 votes respectively. And while I wanted Pilsen to win, it turned out to be the first Summit Club beer to be brewed with a malt other than Pilsen, so it was neat to see how the flavors changed depending on the recipe. .

When I tasted my own allowance, I was given the sweet Galaxy Hops ahead of time, followed by the balancing slight bitterness of the other two. I find Columbus to be pine, whereas El Dorado is more of a medium blend that has a combination of tropical notes with some pine flavor.

The end result makes it more complex and flavorful than the juice bombs that are becoming the norm in the beer world. It’s a solid, hazy New England-style IPA like anything in the Outer Ranges repertoire, but knowing I’ve been on it makes it all the sweeter and more refreshing.

Want to make your own Outer Range beer? Summit Club 2022 membership will go on sale at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 26, online or at the taproom, 182 Lusher Court, Frisco. For $ 325, people get a free four-pack per month, the next exclusive Sensory Dual and Double Dry IPA, goggles, and a Topo Designs bag.

New this year is an Imperial Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout and the choice between attending a party in September or cashing a Golden Ticket that duplicates the beer at will for two people for those who can’t. The stout will also have member input, as partygoers can choose their favorite dessert of the day as an ingredient.

The $ 125 Can Club is also available, which only includes the monthly four packs.

Jefferson Geiger




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