Fresh Hop Beer Season Closes Soon: Get 'em while you can!
As many times as I give Otto treats and take photos of him, he now thinks that the camera is the treat dispenser. Case in point: brush off the table, set up the camera, get the bottle. Once I walk to the camera to take the shot, he's on the table looking for handouts. Oh well, you can barely see him.
As do most of you, Otto wants to be around as many fresh hop beers as possible. If the Hood River Hops Fest and the Portland Fresh Hops Beer Fest left you wanting even more fresh hop beers, you're in luck. There are more fresh hop bottle releases trickling out, Portland taps are still lined with fresh hop offerings, and there's at least on more event geared fully toward fresh hop beers. But drink these fresh! The first thing an aged beer loses is the hop profile. Kept cold and pressurized, these beers will last for a bit, but it's best to drink them as soon as you find them.
We start our journey off with Deschutes Brewery's oddly named, but extra tasty Chasin' Freshies. "From the brewery: Deschutes Brewery chased the perfect hops for this new beer – growing heirloom Cascade hops from the original plant strain at Willamette Valley’s Goschie Farms. Chasin’ Freshies, which was first brewed at its Bend Brew Pub, is a nod to the snow enthusiasts the brewery has welcomed for the last two-plus decades at its downtown gathering spot." Of all the fresh hop beers I've tried this year, this one stands out. Deceptively light straw in color, this beer packs a nice pilsner malt hit, but just enough to hold up the fresh Cascade hops: earthy, herbal, piney, a touch of spice. The lack of bitterness from the fresh hops really lets the subtle malt through and create a great beer. You should see this on shelves starting around the time of this posting. 7.2% ABV, 65 IBU.
Joining Chasin' Freshies on the shelves is Deschutes' other fresh hop bottle release: Hop Trip. At 5.5% ABV and 38 IBUs, the malt weighs in a bit more on this one. The fresh hops are a bit more subtle, but the lower alcohol bite still lets the citrus shine through. For me it's mostly orange with a splash of grapefruit. Again, a nice sweetness from the malt works well with the fresh hop flavors. Hop Trip is out now in 6 packs.
Still searching for more fresh hop beers? Well, Roscoe's has you covered on Friday with their Fresh Hop Summit: "We will feature fresh hop beers from 14 breweries all on tap. Some of the breweries (and beers) represented will be: Double Mountain (Killer Green), Gigantic (the most interesting beer in the world), Hopworks (IPX the Fresh Maker), Walking Man, Pfriem, Oakshire (100 Hops), Full Sail (Hopfenfrisch), Ninkasi (Smells Like Purple backed up by Total Crystalation), Fort George, Sierra Nevada (Estate), Commons, Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, Amnesia (Mother Plucker), and more. 5 ounce tasters will be available."
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