Hops with #HeyLuke: Berry Picking in the Peep Patch with Arvon Brewing

Hops with Luke Laster

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — February 2020: The calm before the storm.

The Arvon Brewing Co. team was excited to move their operation from a production facility to an actual taproom on S. Division Avenue in Grand Rapids. Here, they could finally interact with the people buying their beer.

March 2020 derailed that.

After going back to the drawing board, Arvon Brewing co-owner Jake Stanko took some time to sit down for this episode of Hops with #HeyLuke to discuss three beers unique to this West Michigan taproom.

The first two beers we highlighted are part of a festive, Easter-themed release that started at the beginning of April.

An Easter basket highlights festive beers from Arvon Brewing Co. (Arvon/Facebook)

Up first was the Creative Flow Double Rye New England IPA. Like you, I was curious to know the difference between a regular IPA and a NEIPA.

“An IPA is very broad,” Stanko said. “What makes it a New England IPA, or hazy IPA, is the type of grain you use.”

He went on to explain that the difference also stems from the type of yeast and the amount of hops used and when, which you can see in the video above.

The second beer we sampled gets the #HeyLuke Certified Story — the highlight beer of the episode — thanks to its unique ingredients and origins: the Peep Patch sour.  

“You’re essentially blending sour beer with puree fruit,” Stanko described the beer. “With this type of beer, sometimes we’ll add some sort of other sweetener. Marshmallows is a common one. In this case, we used Peeps.”

The debate about Peeps this time of year is always a funny one. There’s never a middle ground. Folks either love them or hate them. If you’re among the group who does hate them, though, still try this beer. To me, the fruit and sour flavor largely outweighed the marshmallow for a flavor unlike any other I’ve experienced in a thick sour like this.

A can of Arvon Brewing Co.’s Peep Patch next to a Peep bunny. (April 6, 2021)

Last, we had the Citra Drops, a Cryo-citra NEIPA.

“When they process the pellets from the whole cone, they essentially freeze them with nitrogen, and they’re extracting as much of the lupulin, which is the yellow powder and where you get all your flavor and your aroma from, they try to extract as much of that and leave behind as much of the green vegetable matter as possible. So basically, concentrating that hop,” Stanko explained Cryo. 

Basically, the hops come off more aggressive in this kind of beer compared to a traditional NEIPA.

Citra Drops is also part of a line of “Drop Beers.” When consumers get a drop beer, they know they’ll have a little more intensity in that brew.

Citra Drops, Peep Patch and Creative Flow from Arvon Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids. (April 6, 2021)

Check out our Instagram page (@woodtv) on Thursday for an exclusive clip from this interview in which Stanko explains Arvon Brewing’s move right before the pandemic reached West Michigan.

For more Hops with #HeyLuke, head over to WOODTV.com’s Live Desk page. Stay tuned next week for another installment. If you would like your brewery featured on an episode of “Hops with #HeyLuke,” you can reach out to Luke via email at luke.laster@woodtv.com or find him on Facebook or Twitter.

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