A sure sign of summer’s end is the arrival of fresh hop beers on tap at your local The Growler Guys. Whether the hops are grown on site, trucked for hours or flown in special, fresh hop are a delicious labor of love and salute to hop growers.
Here is a round-up of some fresh hop brews and the stories behind them.
Caldera Brewing, Ashland, Oregon
Caldera Fresh Hop Pale
Ashland’s first brewery brews up a fresh hop pale using 150 pounds of Centennial Hops from Crosby Hop Farms in Woodburn, Oregon
Breakside Brewing, Portland Oregon
Breakside employs a special method for extracting as much fresh flavor as possible. Their method — hop shattering — uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the fresh hops and break them apart, thus exposing the coveted lupulin glands that are packed full of hop flavor and aroma.
Their fresh hop offerings include:
What Fresh Beast IPA – Every year Breakside designs a new IPA for hop harvest. This year they did a New England-style IPA entitled What Rough Beast using over 120lbs of Mosaic hops in a 60 barrel batch.
Fresh Hop Cascade Wanderlust – A fresh hop version of Wanderlust IPA made with wet cascade hops from Crosby Farms in Woodburn, Oregon.
Fresh Hop Simcoe IPA – A fresh hop version of their flagship Breakside IPA brewed with Citra and Chinook Hops along with Simcoe hops from Sodbuster Farms in Salem Oregon.
Crux Fermentation Project, Bend, Oregon
Dr. Jack Fresh Hop IPA
This new fresh hop beer by Crux is named for hop pioneer Dr. Jack Horner, creator of the Cascade Hop. Crux used Cascade Hops, of course, harvested from Goschie Farms in Silverton, Oregon. Crux brewers, like many others making fresh hop beers, added the Cascade Hops to the kettle the very same day they were picked to maximize all the floral and citrus flavors and aromas this traditional varietal has to offer.
Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon
Hop Trip Fresh Hop Pale Ale
The Deschutes brewers make the trek it over the pass every September to Sodbuster Farms near Salem for the hop harvest and “hustle back and toss them into the brew kettles within hours of picking,” according to their website. To many, this is fall in a growler or crowler.
Chasin’ Freshies Fresh Hop IPA
Snow is a few months away, and this fall fresh hop beer reminds us of just that! Deschutes uses experimental 431 from Goschie Farms for it’s fresh hop magic! It features the bright and bold aroma of fall’s hop harvest.
Ecliptic Brewing, Portland, Oregon
Altair Fresh Hop Pale Ale
With sourced Centennial hops from Roy Farms in Moxee, Washington, Altair is a bright star in the constellation Aquila the Eagle. Ecliptic tells us that “this light pale ale has fresh aromas of grapefruit and orange with a floral hop balance.”
Double Mountain, Ashland, Oregon
Killer Green – Fresh Hop IPA
Double Mountian uses Sodbuster’s Centennial and Simcoe hops straight from the vine in this fresh hop IPA! We hear it is bright evergreen in color and citrus leads the flavor, pulling out pine and herby notes.
Killer Red – Fresh Hop IRA
Fans of Double Mountain’s standard IRA rejoice when presented with the fresh hop version brewed with Perle whole left hops from Sodbuster Farms. The process from hop farm to truck to Double Mountain takes about two hours. Double Mountain tells us “Perle is heaped into the kettle and hop back give this juiced up IRA a wonderful ripe apple, dank forest, and fruited pine flavors and aromas.”
Laurelwood Brewing, Portland, Oregon
Fresh Hop Free Range Red
Hopped up with 160 pounds of fresh Cascade hop lovelies from Goschie farms, Laurelwood’s rich copper-colored Northwest-style red is medium in body. They tell us it’s caramel sweetness blends with smooth hop flavors to create a balanced and drinkable beer.
Mazama Brewing, Corvallis, Oregon
Green Magic Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Brewed with Centennial Hops harvested at Crosby Hop Farms, Mazama tells us that this “fruity melange that showcases some of the best hop flavors to be found. This beer has loads of hop character from two huge hop additions late in the kettle and in the brite tank.”
Payette Brewing, Boise, Idaho
Wet ‘n Wilder Chinook Wet Hop Ale
Brewed with 600 pounds of fresh Chinook hops the same day from their neighbor, Gooding Farms (which happens to be 42 miles from the brewery), this beer is described to be loaded with citrus and pine aromas. Gooding Farms in Parma, Idaho has been producing renown hops since 1895.
Sofa King Fresh Amarillo Wet Hop Ale
With fresh Amarillo Hops from Gooding, Payette brewed up Sofa King Fresh, which is a favorite of Payette Brewing team. The Amarillo hops give it a floral and citrus aroma.
Sunriver Brewing, Sunriver, Oregon
D’Bomb Amarillo Fresh Hop IPA
Sunriver used over 100 pounds of fresh Amarillo hops from Crosby Hop
Farm in Woodburn, OR to make this fresh hop IPA. Sunriver tells us it’s “a unique “wet” hops provide layers of bright floral, tropical fruit and an array of citrus-driven flavors.”
D’Kine Mosaic Fresh Hop IPA
Sunriver trucked on up to Yakima, Washington to Perrault Farms to pick up over 100 pounds of freshly harvested Mosaic hops. Mosiac wet hops are known to provide layers of tropical fruit, ripe citrus, salted blueberry and earthy-pine flavors.
Wild Ride Brewing, Redmond, Oregon
3 Sisters Wet Hopped Red Ale
Brewed with fresh Cascade and Centennial hops from Cascade Hop Farm located in Tumalo, OR
Wild Ride Brewing has a close relationship with the owners of Cascade Hop Farm, Andrew & Tracy Bloo. The Wild Ride team, along with their families, will go out to the hop farm to help with the harvest the day of the brew, which “becomes a neat experience for all involved,” according to Wild Ride’s brewery manager, Brian Mitchell.