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Newport Vineyards has been extending its grape-growing skills to another harvest favorite, estate-grown pumpkins.
As part of their estate-grown garden program, Newport Vineyards says that has grown several thousand pounds of long pie and sugar pumpkins. When life gives you pumpkins, you make beer. In fact, nearly 200 pounds are being used per batch for their two Taproot Brewing Co. pumpkin ales; the Imperial Pumpkin and Wicked Squashed.
Newport Vineyards says that its estate-grown garden has been growing fresh vegetables and produce for their culinary program for the last two seasons. Lead by the Vineyard’s Master Gardener Tim Batchelor, the garden sits on a quarter of an acre and this has grown kohlrabi, peas, beets, onions, artichoke, celery, celeriac, cucumber, zucchini, summer squash, peppers, melons, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and of course, pumpkins.
For Executive Chef Andy Teixeira the program compliments the Vineyard’s existing farm-to-table culinary philosophy which supports locally grown ingredients from over a dozen farm partners. “We were a farm before anything else,” said Executive Chef Andy Texeira. “It is surreal to be able to walk out on our own land and pick the produce for our menus, and in this case our beer.”
Lead by brewer Kevin Beachem, Taproot’s pumpkin beers have been another opportunity to collaborate with the culinary and garden teams. “Being able to use farm-fresh ingredients in our brews is amazing, to have those ingredients grown right here on our land is nothing short of a brewer’s dream,” said Beachem.
The Imperial Pumpkin has been aged in bourbon barrels for an entire year and comes in at a whopping 12 percent abv. This rich bodied beer comes with big flavors of cinnamon French toast, pumpkin ice cream and brown sugar. The pumpkins in Taproot’s Wicked Squashed get seasoned and roasted with an extra special spice blend from Chef Andy and his team. Hints of brown sugar, garam masala, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger compliment this 7.3 abv brew.