Skip to main content

This Brewery is Helping You Cope with 2020 in a Very Creative Way

How do you describe 2020? It’s hard no to be at least a little bitter. The year has been one gut punch after another, that’s for certain. But we have found innovative ways to persevere.

To be fair, there are quite a few silver linings. From the return of vending machines to cocktails delivered to your doorstep, it’s not all bad. But it has been stressful and sometimes you just need to vent. And venting can take a lot of forms, from meditation and exercise to running straight into the woods, kicking and screaming.

An Oregon brewery may have the best means of coping with the troubling year yet. Hop Valley is allowing people to freeze and destroy items that represent the off-the-hinges year. That could be any number of things — an ill-fitting face mask, a travel itinerary (for a trip that never happened), a bottle of hand sanitizer (keep using it, though), a gift from your ex. You can have it frozen and promptly smash it in unbelievably satisfying fashion. It’s like a futuristic version of this iconic Office Space scene.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

“It goes without saying that 2020 has been a crazy year, so we wanted to help people ring in 2021 on a positive note and leave the bitterness behind,” said Megan McKenna, director of marketing for Hop Valley Brewing Co. “Our inspiration for Cryo Drops was our beer –  we use a special brewing process and Cryo Hops, hops that are frozen at subzero temperature, to create a less-bitter IPA. Now, we’re taking that same idea and freezing and extracting the bitterness from people’s physical objects that represent 2020.”

The brewery is utilizing the same technology it uses on some of its hop varieties on the belongings you despise and wish most to destroy. You simply mail in the thing you loathe from 2020 the most, and the brewery will do the rest. You can even watch as that water bottle or pair of sweatpants you associate with this wonky year is pulverized as Hop Valley will be streaming things later this month.

“We’re saying goodbye to bitter 2020 memories with the same technique we use to brew our beer and showing drinkers who we are and why we deserve a spot on their shelf next year,” McKenna continues.

What’s McKenna leaving behind? “For me, it’s my TV remote that represents all the hours I spent on my couch while stuck at home, but I’m looking forward to seeing the items we get sent and the stories behind them.”

Some years, you leave time capsules to document the mood. Other years, like 2020, you just want to get through, if not break a few things along the way. To partake or learn more about this healthy bit of chaos, check out this website. There will be a livestream of the many objects being obliterated on New Year’s Eve, a fitting way to say farewell to 2020. The hardest part may just be picking a single object for the job.

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
Helpful Wine Terminology so You Sound Like You Know What You’re Talking About
White wine in a glass

There’s always something to be learned in the vast world of wine. Knowing a bit of the language will keep you from getting lost in translation and potentially buying something you might not like. Plus, you’ll sound informed the next time you’re in a tasting room or perusing a bottle shop, online or in person.
So, while you study up on outstanding regions like Alto Adige and unique styles like white pinot noir, pack this handy term guide with you. The list is a combination of winemaking terminology and the words industry types like to use to describe wines and their very specific styles. It might just expose you to your new favorite bottle or producer.

Amphora
An ancient clay vessel used to ferment or age wines, famously utilized by Georgians thousands of years ago and re-emerging as a style today. Read more about it here.

Read more
This Brewery is Turning To An App to Keep Your Thirst Quenched During Quarantine
great notion brewing app for quarantine flight skeleton

It was only a matter of time until we began to see more companies move their business models into the digital world, and the coronavirus pandemic has surely expedited the process. Smartphone apps give companies in every market the ability to reach customers in a more direct and intimate fashion, and that’s a win-win for both the seller and the buyer. Sometimes, though, the customer ends up the big winner in that relationship and that’s the case with the Great Notion Brewing App.

The Portland-based brewery takes its name from an eclectic Ken Kesey novel, Sometimes a Great Notion, and it does an incredible job with taking inspiration from the book's poetic yet polarizing nature, and applying similar methods to its beer production. You’ll find the widely available hazy IPAs, sour ales, and stouts amongst the brewery's offerings, but it’s the added culinary, artistic touch that give these beers their mystery. 

Read more
A Look at Indigenous Breweries in North America
north american indigenous breweries bow and arrow

Equity has no borders, so it was only a matter of time for it to arrive at food and drink. While there’s still a long way to go, there have been some significant gains for BIPOC players in the sectors of eateries, wineries, distilleries, and more.
We’ve seen indigenous communities launch successful brands in places like British Columbia and New Zealand. Native peoples are now doing the same in beer, starting up labels all over America. There are relatively few, to be sure, but the movement is a vital one, injecting some due justice in an arena that’s been fairly one-sided for a long, long time.
Here are some ale-making companies owned and operated by indigenous communities that are worth keeping in mind next time your thirsting for a cold one (or two).

Bow & Arrow Brewing Company

Read more