Pint Report: Unmapped Brewing’s Gladden Farm Fresh Hop IPA

On Monday, September 30th, Unmapped Brewing Company released Gladden Farm IPA, a fresh hop IPA made with hops grown on Dan Gladden’s hop farm. Just like the Gladden would stretch a single into a double, this beer will go fast.

Nothing gets me more excited than a new beer release from one of my favorite breweries. Unmapped Brewing Company brews consistent and inventive beers, and I look forward to any opportunity I can get there for a pint or two. For the release of the Gladden Farm IPA, I was extra excited because my boyhood hero, Dan Gladden, was going to be in the taproom chatting and signing autographs for fans. I was going to get to meet my hero and talk beer with him-talk about my kind of doubleheader!

During the 1987 magical Minnesota Twins season that saw them go from worst place in the AL the previous year to world champs, I took a liking to the rough and tumble left fielder who wore number 32 for the Twins. He came over from the San Francisco Giants and helped solidify the team into a winner.

In the 4th inning of game 1 of the 1987 World Series, Dan Gladden took a Bob Forsch pitch deep into the left field seats for a grand slam. I was a third grader watching the game in my living room in West St. Paul, and that moment cemented Dan Gladden as my favorite Twin. Now, as a 40 year-old beer blogger, I am ecstatic to talk beer with the Dazzle Man. Before I get into our conversation, let me tell you about the beer.

What is a Fresh Hop Beer?

A fresh hop beer is somewhat of a craft beer delicacy in the Midwest because our growing season is so truncated compared to the West Coast. A fresh hop beer is made using hope cones that have just been picked. Once they are off the hop bine, the clock is ticking. Ideally, they get put straight into the boil to capture the supreme essence of fresh hops.

Dan Gladden grew all the hops used for this beer. It is a wonderful combination of Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, Galena, Mt. Hood, and Nugget. Gladden Farm IPA has a bright hue of marmalade that radiates in the pint glass. The beer has an enticing ripe stone fruit and citrus aroma. There are juicy grapefruit notes balanced with ripe apricot and a very subtle hint of peach. The finish is clean without any pine or resin. This is an IPA that everyone can appreciate.

After complimenting Mr. Gladden about the beer, I was curious to learn what got him into craft beer. Gladden has toured a lot craft beer hot spots like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington State. He became enamored with all the different styles of beer as well as the hops used in those beers. After visiting some hop fields in Washington State he became intrigued about the possibility of growing hops. He did a little research and found out that at the time in MN, there weren’t many individual hop farms. He has been growing hops for five years on his farm and this year’s harvest was plentiful.

The Gladden Farm IPA used 75 pounds of fresh hops. All those hops were picked at the brewery by volunteers. For each bucket of hops that were picked, the volunteers got a free beer. Not a bad trade off, if I do say so myself! Fun fact: Gladden’s favorite beer style is a good Belgian Wit.

As excited as I was to meet Gladden, Gladden was even more excited to introduce people to Derek Allmendinger, the Head Brewer at Unmapped. Allmendinger even got to try on Gladden’s World Series ring!

Watching Gladden interact with fans at this fantastic event reminds me why I love craft beer. Craft beer brings all different people together and levels the playing field. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would drink a beer with my boyhood hero. If that can happen, maybe the 2019 Minnesota Twins might just beat the Yankees and create some more October magic? No matter how the Twins/Yankees series shakes out, you are guaranteed to find a winner on tap in the Gladden Farm IPA. Get there sooner than later, though, because this beer is not going to last long! Prost!

Unmapped Brewing Co. 14625 Excelsior Blvd., Minnetonka, MN

Dan Beaubien has been involved with Beerploma since 2014 although his passion for craft beer dates back to 2006 when he started traveling for beer.  Dan mostly covers craft beer events, festivals, brewery openings/releases, and beer reviews. Dan has a soft spot in his heart for authentic British Style ales, IPAs, and all things barrel-aged.  If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to email Dan at dan.beaubien@beerploma.com .