Payette Brewing Company out of Boise, Idaho and Cervecería Albur out of Monterrey, Mexico have come together for a beer unlike any others they have done. Organized by the United States Department of Agriculture, the two breweries were approached with an opportunity to work together. The Brewers Association and Foreign Agricultural Service joined the U.S. and Mexico brewers inspiring a unique collaboration using ingredients native to their home countries. The result: Lúpulo Fresco, a Grapefruit Fresh Hop Ale by Payette Brewing and Cervecería Albur, to be released this November.
Erich Kuss and Jose Castellanos of the Agricultural Trade Office in Mexico City explain the inspiration, “The idea of doing a collaboration came about during discussions of ideas to counter negativity surrounding Mexico/U.S. relations, in part related to the topics of renegotiating NAFTA and immigration. Whatever people’s thoughts on those issues, we knew that the two countries maintained robust trade in agricultural products and that our agricultural economies were very tightly linked. Further we knew that, in general, there is a great appreciation and affinity between the people of our two countries. We thought about how to merge agricultural products from each country into a symbolic show of this long-standing partnership, and we quickly realized that there was no better product than craft beer. Craft beer is often creative in its use of ingredients, is drank almost always among friends, is a growing business, and has a built in spirit of collaboration among its brewers.
We contacted the Brewers Association to ask if they would reach out to their U.S. members to see if anyone was interested in a collaboration with Mexican craft breweries, and eventually be able to showcase that collaboration in Mexico. We conducted similar outreach in Mexico. Payette and Cervecería Albur immediately expressed interest about working with each other, were enthusiastic, and the collaboration to create Lúpulo Fresco came to fruition. Lúpulo Fresco stands out as the only collaboration using fresh hops, and we are excited to see the end result!”
Payette Brewing Founder and CEO, Mike Francis, was excited about the opportunity and states, “Collaboration beers are exciting projects, but getting the opportunity to work with a brewer from another country doesn’t happen every day. This was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. We wanted to use ingredients grown near our respective breweries. Once we decided to brew in September, I knew we had to do a wet hop beer. Victor doesn’t get the opportunity to use wet hops in Monterrey and we are so close to such an amazing hop growing region, that had to happen. They grow excellent grapefruit around Monterrey and that seemed like a very complimentary ingredient to the fresh hops. I can’t think of a better beer to showcase what is going on in the craft beer communities in Boise and Monterrey than Lúpulo Fresco.”
Victor Soto from Cervecería Albur flew to Boise in September to brew the beer at Payette. Mike Francis and Victor drove to the hop farms in Wilder, Idaho where Victor got a chance to see the fields and hop processing facilities. Immediately after, they got their hands dirty and brewed some beer. “It was a great experience to brew across the border and realize that the camaraderie between brewers goes beyond nationalities.”
Lúpulo Fresco is brewed with fresh Idaho grown Crystal hops and Mexico grown Grapefruit. The result is a crisp, incredibly refreshing and balanced beer. The hop and grapefruit additions make a harmonious blend of bitter and citrus flavors. Landing at 6.8% ABV and 70 IBU, this beer is invigorating and delicious. Lúpulo Fresco is available in twenty-two ounce bottles in the Payette Brewing Tap Room and will be revealed at Cerveza México November 10-12, 2017. This event is equivalent to the Craft Brewer’s Conference in the United States and gathers most of the breweries around Mexico.