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Roy Pitz Brewing Company to create new beer with local hops

CHAMBERSBURG >> Roy Pitz Brewing Company has shifted its attention to local ingredients after teaming up with Hop Stuff Yard, a hop yard located in Mercersburg, to create its first local hops limited-edition beer.

The new beer will be a part of the brewery's liquid art series and will be a black spot lager, which is a dry hop black lager. It is expected to be released in early to mid October.

"It gives us an opportunity to be able to change the flavor subtly, without everybody getting too mad at us for changing the ingredients a little bit," Chris Collier, head brewer for Roy Pitz Brewing Co., said. "It's really designed to bring good flavors to the beer. When we make several changes and we use local ingredients, it's really to enhance the quality of the product."

Brewers will use a dry hopping process to create the beer, taking a turn from the company's traditional way of brewing its German lagers. Currently, the brewery only uses this process for its IPA beer.

"In this case, we kind of go against the traditionalisms of the German ways and we add a lot of hops making it very aromatic forward - something that you probably wouldn't find in a typical German lager," Collier said. "So, it's a really cool way to, not only add a local ingredient, but also showcase it, because it will be one of the more upfront characteristics of this beer."

However, the brewing process isn't the only unique aspect. Because soil pH levels and climate can alter the flavor of the oils in the plant, each hop is unique based on where it was grown. The hops from Hop Stuff Yard were grown in sweet soil, which produces a variety of American hops.

Founders and sisters of Hop Stuff Yard, Melissa Stuff and Donna Stuff Fields, knew they wanted to bring their hops to Roy Pitz Brewing Co. because of the local connection and the quality product the brewery produces.

So far, the sisters have received positive feedback on their hops yard.

"For guys that brew beer, they're excited to see people growing the hops that they would want to buy fresh and local," Stuff Fields said. "They love that fresh, fresh product."

Ryan Richards, co-founder of Roy Pitz Brewing Co., is excited about the opportunity to experiment with a local product and bring a new flavor to the Chambersburg area.

"It's hard for us as brewers to find good local ingredients around here," Richards said. "There's not a lot of mulching houses or hop growers or hop yards, in general. So, it's exciting for us to use something local, to help support another local business and support the local economy, all while creating something new, unique and exciting."

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