This afternoon, I was fortunate enough to try one of the newest and most interesting beers in Portland, Hopworks Urban Brewery's Long Root Ale. What's so interesting about it, you ask? Beer is beer, you say? Well, have you ever heard of Kernza? I didn't think so, Mr/Ms Smarty-Tarty Pants. This tasty pale ale is brewed with copious amounts of Kernza. Wouldn't you like to know what Kernza is? No, it's not that MMA fighter who got KO'd at Moda Center last Saturday night. Kernza is almost as tough, though.
Kernza is a perennial grain that is produced via organic regenerative agriculture. Basically, unlike wheat and most other grains, Kernza will keep growing back, year after year after year. No replanting necessary. The roots grow deep into the ground (thus the name Long Root Ale), which helps prevent soil erosion AND allows the plant to grow quite well without pesticides, thank you very much. There's even some speculation that if grown in enough quantities, Kernza could help remove carbon from the atmosphere and reverse global warming. Hey, I ain't no scientist! All I know about is drinking beer, but this sure sounds like a super hero of a plant to me!
For more coherent information about Kernza than I can provide, check out the video HERE.
Hopworks has partnered with Patagonia Provisions to distribute this sustainable, organic beer at Whole Foods markets throughout the West Coast, starting today, in pint-sized cans. Long Root Ale is also available on tap at all Hopworks locations.
I really enjoyed the flavor of this beer. The Kernza actually adds something unique. It's a little spicy like a rye beer. It has great head retention and foam like a wheat beer. The flavor is lightly nutty. It's kind of difficult to put an accurate descriptor on it... Can we say it has a distinctive Kernza flavor? That's probably the best I can do, and you'll have to try it for yourself.
This one is definitely different and very much worth a try. It's very drinkable. Many pale ales are too hop-wimpy for my liking. Long Root Ale has an appreciable hops flavor that keeps on giving. I'm giving Long Root Ale a BeerGuyPDX rating of 4 crushed cans out of 4. Organic, sustainably produced, eco-conscious; you can't get much more PDX than that and it makes me proud that Hopworks is showcasing this very Portland beer across the Pacific Coast.