Rock Art Brewery Humble Harvester IPA
By: Ashton Kirol
The craft beer movement has exploded in the past decade along with the local food movement. Craft restaurants offer a wide range of local brews, and most craft brewpubs support local farms. Rock Art Brewery in Morrisville, VT has taken this relationship even more seriously with one of their recent offerings. The Humble Harvester IPA came out this fall, and as of this article, can still be found in bottles in Vermont and on draft at the brewery. Sales of The Humble Harvester IPA directly support Salvation Farms, a not-for-profit organization that works to build a more resilient food system in Vermont. They accomplish this by reducing food waste between farms and restaurants. They also work to feed vermonters through gleaning (using crops that would have normally gone to waste on farms). This isn’t the first Rock Art beer to support local farms, and it is nice to see the tradition continue. A beer that supports a good cause is always worth trying, so I picked up a growler from the brewery (and a bomber for good measure).
First Impression: The bottle sports the sunny Salvation Farms logo along with Rock Art’s Kokopelli. The blurb on the side of the bottle tells you that you are supporting Vermont farms and families, but leaves the beer inside a mystery. If you are able to pick this beer up at the brewery, you will find a small retail room at Rock Art’s new location. Samples are available for purchase, and the teaser for this beer was enough to get me to bring home an armful to enjoy.
Pour: This beer is a beautiful copper color. The pour from the bottle resulted in a tall, pure white head that lasted long enough for me to snap a few photos and also enjoy the beer.
Aroma: Grapefruit. That nearly sums up the aroma of this beer. Bitter citrus dominates the scene with light grain and pine underneath.
Taste: The grapefruit aroma does not belie the taste. This is a very citrus forward IPA. There is just enough malt backbone to balance out the hops. This makes The Humble Harvester a very crisp and drinkable IPA. The bottle seemed more balanced to me than the growler. I think that might be because higher carbonation in the draft version accentuated the light malt profile.
Final Impression: I love that The Humble Harvester supports the best of the craft beer movement (and local food/agriculture). I also love a citrusy IPA. If you don’t love a strong grapefruit-hop taste, then you might not be as sold on this beer. It is too harsh to call The Humble Harvester one-dimensional, but it isn’t the most complex IPA either. I for one hope to see this beer brewed again, but it understandably isn’t for every IPA lover. If you like a grapefruit forward IPA, then grab some while you still can. With only 300 cases bottled, the first run of this beer will disappear soon.