One of my favorite recent developments in craft beerdom over the last several years is the emergence of fresh hop ales to coincide with the Fall harvest.
Regular readers know I love my hops — which are of course prominently featured in the IPAs, pale ales, stouts, porters, etc ... of the Pacific Northwest.
Adding fresh hops to those recipes in the fall usually adds yet another enjoyable layer to the drinking experience, and this year’s entries have been superb. If you want to get a good idea of what is out there, jet on over to the Boise Co-Op wine shop (across the parking lot from the main Co-Op building at 888 W. Fort St.) Sunday between 2-and-5 p.m. for a free tasting.
The beer crew at the Co-Op will be pouring tasters of fresh hop ales from Sierra Nevada, Beer Valley, Deschutes, Bridgeport, and Hales. Very cool.
All of these fresh hop brews are delicious — featuring an infusion of freshly picked hop flowers from this year’s harvest which impart fresh organic and grassy hop flavors and aroma to the brew — and are only available for a limited time.
For me, the Deschutes Hop Trip is the best of the bunch. I keep trying to store a few bottles in the fridge but they keep disappearing down my gullet because it is just too good.
FYI — Fresh hop versions of Ontario-based Beer Valley’s Leafer Madness and Black Flag Imperial Stout are now available in bottles at the Co-Op.