Sierra Nevada fresh hop ale — in June?

Yep. You read it right. Sierra Nevada has a new fresh hop beer on the market right now, which may have you scratching your heads since the hop harvest won't happen until fall. Well, that’s in the U.S.

In New Zealand, however, the hop harvest ended earlier this year as scheduled — with it's backwards seasons and all.

So the hop freaks (and I mean that in the nicest, most complimentary way) at Sierra Nevada went down under, loaded up a plane with bales of fresh hops, and flew back to Sierra Nevada’s Chico, Calif. brewery within a week after they were picked this spring.

Thus, the Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale was born.

Check out medal winners from last weekend’s NABA Mountain Brewers’ Fest in Idaho Falls

The organizers of the just completed 15th Annual Mountain Brewers’ Fest (at Sandy Downs in Idaho Falls) report that a good time was had by all — despite lots of rain and wind.

Preliminary results indicate about 5,000 imbibers attended Idaho’s biggest and best beer festival and raised as much as $60,000 for local charities (Breaking Boundaries, Camp Discovery, Crime Stoppers, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s search and rescue unit, and the Snake River Animal Shelter). Nice.

The festival coincides with the annual North American Brewers’ Association awards. Click here for the list of winners, which includes’ Boise’s own Sockeye and the Ram.

1244495056 Check out medal winners from last weekend’s NABA Mountain Brewers’ Fest in Idaho Falls Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho’s biggest and best beer festival happening this weekend in Idaho Falls

There are still tickets left for the 15th Annual Mountain Brewers’ Beer Fest at the Sandy Downs Racetrack this Saturday.

Yes, I know Idaho Falls is a long haul from Boise (280 miles — about four hours or so, depending how you drive).

But if you can swing it, it’s a chance to sample the beers of over 80 brewers from all over the U.S. for $20 ($25 at the gate). There is none of that ticket nonsense going on here, either. For $20, you get unlimited 3 ounce samples of whatever you want to try.

Pennsylvania Beer Pong game turns deadly

Check out this story out of Bridgeport, Pa. about a game of beer pong which ended in murder Friday night.

News reports out of Philadelphia say the fight appears to have occurred over some kind of rules violation.

Here’s a quick version of what happened, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer and the Associated Press. Check out the links for more details.

Mark the calender — Mountain Brewers’ fest in Idaho Falls June 6th

Get ready to gas up the car and book a motel room in the Idaho Falls area for June 6th — the date for this year’s 15th Annual Mountain Brewers’ Beer Fest at the Sandy Downs racetrack.

The Mountain Brewers’ Beer Fest is Idaho’s biggest and best beer festival of the year, as over 80 brewers from all over the US (with the mountain states and pacific northwest having the strongest representation) will bring their best beers to Idaho Falls.

Don’t forget: “Beer Wars” documentary playing tonight at Edwards

Craft beer enthusiasts who want to get a good education on what our favorite brewers have to do to keep the big brewers at bay and stock their craft beers on the shelves of our local stores should check out the one-night-only showing of ”Beer Wars” tonight at Edwards 21.

”Beer Wars” is a documentary film playing for one night on movie screens across the country today — Thursday, April 16.

Here in the Treasure Valley, we get one showing, at 6 p.m. at Edwards 21 Cinemas in Boise. Tickets are $15 each and can be preordered at www.fathomevents.com.

The quest for hop perfection with Deschutes Hop Henge

Eagle-eyed imbibers enjoying a fresh bottle of Deschutes’ superb Hop Henge Experimental IPA this past weekend might have noticed a little note on the side saying “Batch 3.”

That’s because — not surprisingly — the current bottling run is the third and final version of the sublimely delicious Hop Henge to be brewed this spring.

Each run has been slightly different as the good folks at Deschutes have tried to achieve a goal of 95 IBUs per bottle. That, of course, is the acronym for International Bittering Units. Each batch of the Hop Henge has featured more and more IBUS, with Batch 3 topping out at 91.

Zappa beers from Lagunitas are gone for good

It appears as if the marriage of the Zappa Family Trust and the Lagunitas Brewing Co. is defunct.

The Ruben and the Jets Imperial Stout released by Lagunitas in December is the last of the Zappa themed beers to come out after Frank’s widow Gail decided she didn’t want the program to continue.

“It was just that the Zappa Trust pulled the plug on us,” said Don Chartier, a Lagunitas employee who answered the phone at the Pteluma-based brewery last week. “We had more beers lined up. We would have loved to keep it going. Gail just said no.”

Brewery tours, on-premise sales begin at Ontario’s Beer Valley Brewing this weekend.

Anyone who wants to buy some fresh beer from Pete Ricks’ Beer Valley Brewing is in luck.

The Ontario-based brewery is now open for limited hours on weekends so they can sell 64 ounce growlers of fresh Owyhee Amber Ale, Pigskin Pale Ale, Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale, and Black Flag Imperial Stout. The brewery will also be selling cases of 22-ounce bottles of the aforementioned beers directly to thirsty consumers.

Ricks is also giving tours of the brewery but his Oregon brewing license does not allow for any free tasting, which, of course, is the best part of any brewery tour. So that’s a bummer.

1236888844 Brewery tours, on-premise sales begin at Ontario’s Beer Valley Brewing this weekend. Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Idaho ranks 31st in national beer consumption

This means the residents of 19 states drink less beer every year than we do here in the Spud State, according to the Beer Institute, which is a national lobbying group for — you guessed it — the beer industry.

I discovered the state-by-state drinking list when doing some research for my beer column last week for Scene and thought I would pass it on to the readers of the Beer Nut, especially since it has been weeks since my last posting. (My regular job as police reporter has been ultra busy — don’t criminals in town know I need time to write my beer blog?)

Not surprisingly, Utahns drink the least amount of beer in the U.S. — an average of about 21.1 gallons of beer a year.

We Idahoans drink about 30.7 gallons of beer a year, placing us in the lower half of imbibers in the U.S.

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