Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Prosser's second: Horse Heaven Hills

     Prosser, awash in a lake of wine, has two islands of barley-based sensibility.  Horse Heaven Hills will have been brewing in the downtown area for two years this July, along with the longer established Whitstran.  The brewery sits behind another business on Meade Ave., opening on an alley.
Don't be dissuaded from checking it out.  Brewer Gary Vegar has some adventurous ideas about craft beer. How many brewpubs can offer a Black Cherry Stout Float, served up just like a root beer float with a scoop of ice cream? I tried four tasters and was impressed with the Saison (made with Belgian candy syrup and coriander, put in the boil in the last two minutes), the Ruby Spur amber (honoring a cowboy friend who won a pair of ruby spurs in a rodeo), and the Delta Pale.  This last was made with two strains of hops so new--Delta for flavoring and Calypso for bittering--that Horse Heaven is one of just three breweries to get a wee bit from the five acre plot where they have been developed. (The other two? Just Sierra Nevada and Deschutes.)  It helps that the hops agronomist working on these new varieties is a local and fan of the beers here.
A local artist created the wood images of the three horses that grace the back bar and reinforce the names of the brewery and several of its beers.  The Horse Heaven Hills are on the map and the skyline, rising over the irrigated greenery to remind all that the natural condition out here is bone dry.
(Visited 5/20/11)

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