Pacific Northwest hops are harvested each year from late August through September, which means beers brewed with the freshest hops available, known as wet-hopped beers, arrive in early October. What are fresh-hop beers? Simply put, they’re brews made with hops that are pulled off the bine and go straight into the kettle. Most of the hops used by U.S. breweries are cultivated in Oregon and Washington. For the most part, these hops are dried and processed before being sold to professional and amateur brewers, which affects the flavor punch. With fresh hops, drinkers can expect more hoppiness, more aroma and more flavor — kind of like cooking with fresh herbs and spices instead of something that’s been on the shelf for a while. Fresh-hopped ales are best consumed ASAP; let’s drink five today. Stop by Peaks and Pints and enjoy Peaks and Pints Beer Flight: Fresh Hop Ales.
Varietal Virgil Goes Fresh
Brewed in collaboration with Virgil Gamache Farms and HopTechnic, Varietal Beer‘s Virgil Goes Fresh West Coast pale ale features VGF Columbus and Chinook in the whirlpool with VGF Chinook and freshly kilned Amarillo from Loza Farms. How goes it? Expect citrus flavors with a mild, pithy bitterness.
A past “Best In Show” winner at thee Fresh Hop Ale Fest in Yakima, Wander Brewing’s Fresh Cassette IPA offers fresh wet Citra cones from Cornerstone Ranches. The hazy IPA brings layers of candied tangerine, green melon, and tropical danky tang.
Somehow 7 Seas Brewing managed to go through the entire fresh hop process and open a new giant taproom in Gig Harbor at the same time. Their Yakima Valley Fresh Hop IPA is brewed with fresh Simcoe and Centennial hops for a fresh, floral, and vibrant aroma with hints of citrus fruits, moderate bitterness and well balanced. Enjoy it on tap at Peaks & Pints, or have a pint at their new Gig Harbor location at 2905 Harborview Dr.
Since 1868, the Carpenter family has been an integral component of the Yakima Valley hop industry. Their legacy began when Charles Carpenter departed from his hop growing family in New York, moved across the country, and settled in the Yakima Valley, establishing the first hop farm in the Ahtanum area. Six generations later, Carpenter Ranches continues to be a family-owned operation focusing on tradition and innovation. Carpenter Ranches provided fresh Simcoe hops for Old Schoolhouse Brewery’s Hop Massager Fresh Hop, a fresh hazy IPA that has used fresh Citra in the past.
This past spring, Lisa Allen, head brewer at Heater Allen Brewing, and Kevin Davey, former brewmaster at Wayfinder took over Heater Allen in McMinnville, Oregon, while also launching a new venture and line of beers there called Gold Dot, which will be Heater Allen’s luxury brand. Gold Dot Inaugural Wet Hop IPA is just that — Gold Dot’s first fresh hop IPA. Since Chris Baum of Varietal beer is their favorite wet hop guru it makes total sense they would brew their wet hop with him. Inaugural West Coast IPA is brewed with 400 pounds of un-kilned Mosaic from Coleman Agriculture in Mt. Angel for fresh, sticky, dank, piney and berry flavors.