NYC beer bar cultivating its hops

NEW YORK -- The Stag’s Head, voted one of the "30 Best Beer Bars in America" by Paste magazine, isn't resting on its laurels. In fact, the gastropub is cultivating an entirely different plant -- its own hops.

The tavern, located at 252 East 51st Street in Midtown East, has planted Sunbeam hops in its rooftop garden. Sunbeam is a 21-year-old variety derived from the Saaz hop, a traditional pilsner hop. The plants already have hit the 15-foot mark and may get even higher since some examples of the variety reach as much as 30 feet in height.

These hops are females, so they will start to flower any time from late July to September. The tavern will be adding a fresh-hopped beer, also known as wet-hopped, to its rotation of craft beer in late August to September. The staff also will use the hops as garnishes for IPAs, and hoppy pale ales and pilsners.

In addition, Chef Bruce Dillon plans to experiment with the hops on his summer menu.

[Go here for the state-by-state selections for the "30 Best" list.]

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