Pick Em, Dry Em, Smoke Em
If you like spice in your beer, you’ll love what we’re picking this week at Rogue Farms.
This is the start of our jalapeño harvest. Just a two-acre patch, puny compared to most pepper growers, but we’re still excited about it. Yields are high and the quality is outstanding. While some of our other crops griped about the record-breaking heat this summer, the jalapeños loved it.
Picking peppers at Rogue Farms is a slow motion harvest. Because we kiln and smoke our jalapeños into chipotles, we want only red peppers. But they don’t turn red at the same time. Some are ripe today, others won’t be ripe for another few days or weeks.
So it’s matter of getting down into the rows and picking the red ones. The green peppers are left behind to continue ripening. We know for sure if they’re ready if the peppers are easy to pull off the plants.
Like so many things we do, this is not the cheapest nor the easiest way to grow jalapeños. If we didn’t care so much about using the best possible peppers in our Chipotle Ale we’d pick them all, red or green, and be done with it. But some things are worth the extra effort and worth the wait.
Once we’ve gathered enough jalapeños the next stop is to dry them in our hop kilns. Then they’re off to the Rogue Brewery in Newport where we dry smoke into chipotles. The jalapeño harvest is not the end of this journey from ground to glass.
There’s still plenty going on at Rogue Farms. The weather is warm and the beers are cold. Pay us a visit and see how the crops we grow become the beer, spirits, ciders and sodas you love.