york mulberry outlet store Fruits grown in Indiana used in locally produced ales
military helicoptersThat why he be a keynote speaker at an agricultural conference in Romania in three weeks. And that why Indiana second largest brewery uses Lehman fruits to concoct a pair of sour ales, a tart beverage gaining popularity among craft beer aficionados.
really believe the future of the pawpaw and persimmon markets is very bright, Lehman said.
Both have long been backwoods novelties like morel mushrooms, another holy grail caliber Hoosier delicacy. Both fruits are as American as apple pie, in fact, even more so. Apple pies actually emerged from England in the 14th century, according to What Cooking America. By contrast, the trees bearing pawpaws and persimmons are indigenous to the United States, growing wild in forests east of the Mississippi, including those flanking the Wabash River valley.
In 1989, Lehman decided to grow those fruits in his own grove as a creative outlet, tinkering with grafts and breeds along the way. Today, he and his wife, Barbara, tend to one of the country largest pawpaw patches, with 350 trees, as well as 1,000 persimmon trees. Each tree and fruit have unique qualities, Lehman explained.
That exactly what brewers at Upland Brewing Company in Bloomington wanted in 2013, when they began toying with the idea of adding pawpaw to their roster of sour ale flavors. Those sours with their initial, pucker inducing tang are themselves unique among craft beers.
Traditional ales take two to three weeks brewing time, and lagers four to five weeks. Upland sours age in old wooden wine barrels for three months to three years, employing a brewing style that originated centuries ago in Belgium. The longer fermentation and use of wild varieties of yeast have these sour, really funky, wild tastes, said Pete Batule, Upland vice president of brewing operations.
Pawpaw, the fist sized fruit with a banana custard taste, fit perfectly among Upland lineup of sour ale flavors, joining peach, blueberry, black raspberry, strawberry, cherry, (dried) mulberry, kiwi and persimmon, among others. The brewery, which also produces Champagne Velvet (the iconic brand from Terre Haute beer heyday), uses Lehman fruit to craft its pawpaw and persimmon sour ales.
Batule toured Lehman orchard on May 16, talking with the 81 year old farmer and former Motorola TV service shop owner about the peculiarities of the fruits, their adaptability to brewing and Lehman upcoming journey to next month for Life and Life for Agriculture conference at Bucharest, Romania.
The two men also realized they share a willingness to go through the trial and error process. Sometimes an attempt to breed a new fruit variety fails, such as the seedless pawpaw. it had to be tried, Lehman emphasized. In Upland quest for new beer flavors, some simply didn work, Batule said.
do a lot of experimenting, Lehman said, pointing to Batule as they walked between rows of pawpaw trees.
just a ton of innovation going on in the craft beer industry, Batule responded. exciting. Indeed, the number of craft beer breweries in Indiana both large and small jumped from 46 in 2011 to 127 this year, according to the Brewers Association. And they being adventurous. The No. 1 craft beer trend in 2017 is that is consumers favorite flavor, meaning they anxious to experiment, too.
Pawpaws creamy taste, similar to tropical fruits such as papaya and mango, and the sweetness of persimmons are rare enough to intrigue those consumers quest for something new. They result in ales with a cidery flavor, sour and fruit forward, Batule said, with a crisp finish and little aftertaste. Upland Pawpaw and Persimmon sour ales available only at the company Wood Shop sour brewery in Bloomington and its tasting room in Indianapolis Broad Ripple district sell out within two weeks of their release, he added.
The quick consumption is partly because of the ales popularity, and partly because of Upland produces only small quantities of Pawpaw and Persimmon. The fruits are harder to find than peaches or hops. Plus, the pawpaws shelf life is short, three weeks or less, so they difficult to ship long distances. The short, 55 mile truck ride from Lehman farm to Upland minimizes that problem.