Written by Garrett Johnson
One of Great Raft’s must-stop places in Northwest Arkansas is Hawk Moth Brewing, owned and operated by our buddy Bradley Riggs. Hawk Moth’s taproom and beer selection always boasts some new style or ingredient which immediately gets our attention. Grissettes, sours, foeder stouts, and an assortment of lagers are always on draft in a space that feels more like going to a friend’s house with a nice back patio than a bar. Andrew and Bradley have been scheming for a while about collaborating on a release, and even with COVID keeping these two brewery owners busier than ever, they made it happen.
Partially due to my Scandinavian heritage, I have always been fascinated and have sought out beers brewed with kveik yeast. Kveik (pronounced “kuh-vike”) is a Norwegian farmhouse yeast that is reused for generations by brewers throughout the country and has only recently begun to be popularized with domesticated strains being produced by commercial laboratories. When it comes to the various wormholes that one can dive down in brewing, I found that this yeast strain is the most interesting. Some of kveik’s most notable attributes are its rapid fermentation rate (80%+ attenuation), fermentation temperature (fermenting well at 90oF/32oC), and very low pitch rate (1-2 million cells/mL). Kveik cultures produce a wide range of fruity aromas, lending this yeast toward the production of NEIPAs as well as traditional farmhouse ales. Two notable kveik IPAs that I’ve had are Stone Brewing’s Viking Space Probe and Jester King’s DDH I.P.A.
At Great Raft Brewing, working on experimental pilot batches of beer is both a necessary step for inventing new beers to bring to customers, and is also an in-house competition amongst the staff. Cellarman Gabe Hall has a reputation for selling out his pilots in the Tasting Room within an hour and this year took to brewing SMASH (single malt and single hop) IPA pilots using African hops such as Southern Star, Southern Passion and African Queen. For me, I have been focused on grissettes and IPAs using kveik yeast and hops such as Zappa and Galaxy. Quality Lead/Yeast Wrangler Zak Strezo and Brewer Bailey Rowe have also fallen down the wormhole of learning about kveik and its potential for finding new flavors in brewing.
When Andrew and Bradley started discussing ideas for their collaboration, they merged some of team’s latest explorations to create “3 Easy Payments,” an IPA with African Queen, Equanot, and Citra hops fermented with Hornindal kveik yeast. This beer is something new for both Great Raft and Hawk Moth, and delivers a ton of mandarin and stone fruit flavors contained in very hazy glass. The mouthfeel is crisp, rather than a sugarbomb, and it really allows you to discover a new flavor with every sip.
3 Easy Payments will be featured at Hawk Moth Brewing and at craft-beer-supporting businesses throughout Arkansas and Shreveport. This 7% Kveik IPA is a draft only release but will be sold in crowlers at Great Raft and Hawk Moth.
Skål! / Cheers!