Worthy Brewing

Month: September 2013

By in It's Gotta Be Worthy 0

The People are Frothing… It’s Gotta Be Worthy. Part 1

Wed, 25 Sep 2013 18:55:00


Where’s the moment? How do we get there? Once there can we stay there? How? And for how long? How do we string a bunch of moments together?  Are some more lasting while others are built on sand? Are some moments worthier? Is that even what we strive for — worthy moments? And what is “worthy,” anyway?

And what does any of this have to do with beer? It’s just beer, right? Or is it? Is it an ethos? A way of life? A culture? Is beer even important? Is it essential? A privilege? a luxury? What’s it for? Is it a reward for a job well done? Is it a pharmaceutical? A neutraceutical? A sin? A portal? A measure of creativity, civility, or intelligence? Simple hydration? Sustenance?

Questions. What makes a beer worthy? Is it the way it was brewed and delivered? Is it the sum of the quality of the ingredients? Or is it all contingent on the mood, sophistication and the attitude of it’s consumer? Is it a mixture of romance and science?

Hmmm. For weighty issues like worthiness, it’s important to consult the experts. So I rounded up a blue ribbon panel of fellow frothers and put it to them: assuming that what you do, eat or drink has gotta be worthy (the flip side being yeah I drink sh** beer but don’t give a crap), how do you measure worthiness?

(* Click on the image for a larger version)

The Rock Hard Guy

The Romantic Pragmatist

The Bust Out Guy

The Skeptic

The Been-to-Heaven-Hell-And-Back Guy

The Farm Fresh Gal

The Do or Die Guy

The Do It Again Guy

The Innocent Non-Guy

The Pollyanna Gal

So there you have it. Different strokes from different folks. Different, but each pursuing a semi-standard of worthiness in some form or fashion. Each for the most part seeking out a beer the quality of which is consistent with the perception of a higher, better self. And each having a bit of fun with their quest.


By in Hoptember Fest, Indie Hops 0

Worthy Kicks Off Hoptember Fest with Fresh Wet Hop Infused Fun

Fri, 13 Sep 2013 18:55:00

All right hop lovers, huddle up.

It’s harvest time at Worthy. Our biergarten and hopyards are loaded with big, fluffy, bright green cones that are bursting with flavor. They’re as big as beehives and you can almost hear the lupulin glands inside buzzing to bust out.

We’re going to set free these glorious sacks of hop oil, starting tonite. Starting with tonite’s mini-harvest from our biergarten. If you have ever pondered what your already hopgrageously spiced Worthy Pale or IPA would taste like if you dropped a freshly plucked wet hop in it, here’s your chance.

It’s going to go down like this. We’ve got 10 varieties of organically grown hops flourishing on the perimeter of our biergarten. At around 5pm, we’ll pluck a few dozen cones from a single variety (e.g., Centennial, Cascades, or Horizon). We’ll knock off any bugs that are visible to the naked eye (although in many countries they are edible!).

We’ll then break the cone open down the middle where unfolded you can see and snort our darling little sticky yellow glands of glory. Why the hop vivisection? Well, first, it’s cool to look at the wellspring of hop flavor. The flavor and aroma of hops are packed inside these potent yellow pods.

Second, nature designed the hop cone to protect it’s sweet nectar from the ravages of heat, rain, pests and mildews. By exposing the glands, beer brewers and now you have the chance to maximize the contact between your beer and the fun bags.  Science has measured over 250 oils in many hop varieties (and there might be more).  Some oils taste like grapefruit, others like sandalwood, others like licorice.  What flavors will you notice?

That’s the everlasting and intriguing ponderable. What difference, if any, will you detect?  Forgive me for going full geek here, but truly the best way to measure any difference is to compare the test sample with the baseline assay (is he saying buy two pints?).  Try an already wonderfully hopped Worthy IPA or Pale first and inventory the flavors. Then order the same beer but douse it with a wet, unkiln dried, unprocessed fresh hop.

Does the fresh, wet hopped beer add anything? More tang? More pop? More chlorophyllic, grassy goodness?  It’s weird to conflate color, light and flavor but does it taste greener and brighter? We know adding lemon to tea adds flavor, as does fresh basil to pizza. Do you get an amplification of the baseline flavors or something brand new? Pray tell.

Another query.  Should you worry about adding more straight up bitterness to your already studiously balanced bev? We don’t think so.  The IBUs in your already balanced Worthy pale or IPA won’t jump.  Brewers can extract the hop’s bittering acids only when the hops are boiled. (Geek Alert! Don’t call me out on this if not 1000% correct).

A few more things.  Since we won’t be drying our hops, and about 96% of a hop cone consists of water, the other parts mainly consisting of oils and resins, they’ll compost in the ambient air rather quickly. That means we’ll need to dash out to the garden to puck ‘em and dash back in to “filet” and drop them into your glass.  Hop oils are volatile and tend to oxidize PDQ, so no dilly dallying around.

Next, our biergarten hops are organic, which means we haven’t sprayed or treated them.  We’ll try to knock of any bugs we see, but no guarantees (talk about new and exotic flavors!).  Whatever you do, don’t drown our lady bugs! Set them free. We love nature’s little hop scrubbers.  No mite or aphid ever withstood the assault of the voracious lady bug.

And this. Hop oils take a while to extract and dissolve in solution. Some hop oils love water, others don’t. You may not get an instant hop high. During dry hopping, studies have shown it takes 4-6 hours to extract the bulk of a properly designed hop pellet’s oil.

Finally, have fun. Most of us love the taste of a pale or an IPA, but we really don’t know why. We hope that this fresh wet hop experiment will poke your curiosity so you’ll want to learn more.  At Worthy beertopia, we may not have all the answers, but we’ve got a decent sized list of interesting questions. Alas, we have a limited supply of fresh cones and they’ll go fast, so hop on down.




For your reading pleasure, we recommend:



Organic Worthy Cascades waiting to be plucked.

Pluck me! Open me! Unleash my nectar!

We’ll harvest around 5pm-ish. Knock off the lady bugs. Drop ’em in your pale or IPA. Get ’em while they’re wet and fresh!

Lupulin gland gold! Ponder the places you’ll go.

Fillet the wet hop, drop it in, sink it low, and let the glands go. It may take a bit for the juices to flow. Cruel fate!

Don’t forget to wash those fingies! No off flavors, please.

Going deep for maximum oil/resin to beer contact. Extract nature’s goodness.

More piney, floral, citrusy, greener, brighter? Please tell us.

Science in the pursuit of sensory pleasure! Enjoy your Worthy Hoptember Fresh Wet Hop experiment.
By in Glory Pullers 0

Glory Pullers Double the Guts, Glory and Gold

Thu, 12 Sep 2013 18:55:00

Here at Worthy we like to go hard at what we love, whether it’s brewing beer, or growing hops, or baking pizzas or even pedaling a bike.

Insert all the usual clichés but it comes down to wanting to do well and whatever it is we’re doing.  “Doing well” doesn’t at all equate with winning medals.  Yes, as Worthy’s Brewmaster Chad Kennedy has said, it’s certainly nice to be recognized by your peers for brewing podium worthy beers, but in the end our mission is to brew drink worthy beers that customers will keep coming back to.

Chances are if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re probably doing it well. I love riding my bike. Getting out for a spin is a great way to clear the cobwebs and connect the dots. For many years I raced bikes and did fairly well but retired last year to build Worthy Brewing.

For the past few months, here in Bend I’ve enjoyed riding the Tuesday Night Nationals and Saturday morning Worlds with all the gritty boyz and girlz. I started getting all those “go for the gold” juices flowing again so I called up my buddy in Orange County, Michael “MJ” Johnson, and asked him if he wanted to race the tandem bike at the Masters National Championships here in Bend.

MJ’s a powerful bike racer and a great friend.  In another life, I’m an asbestos cancer lawyer.  Although MJ and I for years had known each other as bike racers, our relationship grew closer when his father, John Johnson, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, and I had the privilege of representing the Johnson family against the asbestos companies who poisoned him.

We dedicated the race to our Dads: John Johnson and Punch Worthington, respectively, two victims of asbestos cancer, who despite heavy odds and unspeakable misery lived out their tragically shortened lives with honor and dignity.  We won the race, set a course record, averaged over 30 mph for 25 miles, and created for ourselves a lasting moment that we will forever look back upon with pride and happiness.

My Dad, Punch Worthington, who was a boxer, U.S. Marine, Ph.d in Genetics (from Oregon State) and labor union organizer, taught me to go for the gold and give something back. His wise counsel has served me well, whether as an asbestos cancer trial lawyer, a bike racer, a hops merchant and now as the owner of Worthy Brewing Restaurant and Gardens.

Thanks for a great ride MJWe doubled the guts, glory and gold.  It hurt so good! I know our Dads were looking down with pride.

It’s no secret that to get anything right, whether it’s racing a bike or brewing great beer, you have to put in the time, take a few risks, overcome countless obstacles, sacrifice a little short term pain, get back up and when you stumble, and keep your eye on the prize.  It also helps, I’ve learned, whether going uphill or downhill, with the wind or against it, to remind yourself you’re doing this more for the fun than the medals.  I might add that even on those not-so-fun days it helps to know that when you get home you’ve got a worthy beer waiting for you.

Go hard at what you love!

Roger Worthington




Above photos courtesy of Lasala Images