I am happy to officially announce our first seasonal beer, a harvest pumpkin ale named Homecoming.
We first brewed Homecoming last fall, back when we were brewing 5-gallon batches at a time in our garage. Up front, we committed to using real roasted pumpkin meat in every variation, and after several batches we finally settled on a recipe. As the pumpkin season came to an end, we shelved the recipe in anticipation of 2014’s harvest.
In its original meaning, a seasonal product is one that can only be made when the season allows the availability of its raw material. With that in mind, we held out on brewing Homecoming until actual harvest time was upon us, allowing us to source the pumpkins from fresh local farms rather than bulk produced cans of pumpkin/squash meat.
We partnered with Sunnycrest Farm in Londonderry, where owner Dan Hicks is a big fan of great craft beer and supporter of local businesses. Immediately following their harvest, we acquired several hundred pounds of sugar pumpkins from Dan (along with some of his famous cider donuts and apple cider). Many thanks, Dan.
In keeping with our commitment to brew each beer at 10-barrel scale the same way we did 5-gallons at a time in the garage, we needed a method for roasting this vast amount of pumpkins.
Enter Dan Lageuex (Owner) and Mark Hancock (Head Chef) of NE’s Tap House Grille in Hooksett. They were kind enough to open the doors to their restaurant on their day off to help us halve, gut, roast and scoop 240lbs of pumpkins. We even roasted all of the pumpkin seeds with Dan’s home recipe (ask us for some if you’re in the Ale Room). Thank you guys; ‘twas a fun day. We should do it again sometime.
The pumpkins successfully went into our brewing process, and Homecoming is patiently waiting in Fermenter #3 for conditioning and kegging at the end of next week. We are excited to begin pouring, and cannot thank all those from the local community who helped us make it happen.
We only plan to do a couple batches of Homecoming this season, which means we can only offer it to a handful of local restaurants (in addition to our Ale Room at the brewery). We will announce where Homecoming will be distributed at the end of next week.
With that, I invite you all to join us a week from today as we celebrate the harvest with a fresh pint of Homecoming. Cheers.
Co-Founder | Accounts & Engineering