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Homegrown Fresh Hop Ale - Moonlight Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Homegrown Fresh Hop AleHomegrown Fresh Hop Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

44 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 6.31%
Wants: 28
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-16-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Arbitrator
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Trappist in Oakland.

A: Pours a deep orange-amber, slightly murky. The head is a finger's worth of off-white foam that retains for about a minute before retreating into a half-finger thickness. Nice lacing down the glass as I drink.

S: A very interesting aroma that grew on me substantially by the end of the glass. An earthy / woodsy smell that most of us related to a cigar humidor. Wet green hops and substantial herbs and spice. Absolutely unique, pungent, and oustanding.

T: I didn't get any woodsy stuff in the taste, but earth and wet green hops came through very nicely. The aroma and taste combination reminded me of walking through a forest after a light drizzle. The mid-taste was wet green hops again; the finish was herbal and marijuana-like with some spices I couldn't place. Throughout the taste, I picked up a muddled dark malt character -- caramel, brown sugar? -- that didn't quite meld right.

M: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation. Lightly dry on the finish. Went down easily and didn't wreck the palate.

D: It was good, but I didn't love it. I'd give it a second try if I saw it again.

Arbitrator, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Light honey amber color with a dank sticky offwhite head. Nice lacing. Pineapple and grapefruit hop flavors with some herbal notes and light caramel sweetness. Flavor is caramel and berry sweetness with a lot of resinous oily hops. Completely unastringent, with a light bitterness that could stand to be stronger. The dry aftertaste lingers nicely.

illidurit, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yet another one to thank RedwoodG for sendin my way. Harvested and brewed on Sept 9, 2006. Home bottled with care on October 12, 2006. Into my chalice on November 28, 2006. Pours a deep copper orange hue, darker than I would have expected. A nice half inch of airy bubbly head tops it off. Lookin good so far. Aromas begin with dank, herbal green hops and I must say the green bud name fits! Somewhat earthy and spicy with a piney undertone. Very light skunkiness. Mellow caramel malts in the background. Green herb aroma dominates...quite a unique brew.

First sip brings a burst of green, resinous herbal hops upfront. Somewhat piney and earthy with an interesting spiciness as well. Backed by a lightly toasty, biscuity, caramel maltiness. Bitterness is nice and big and rolls down from start to finish. There's a really herbal quality to this brew and plump green hop cones come to mind with each sip. Finishes with lingering hop notes and bitterness as well. Overall, a tasty fresh hop IPA that I would never turn down!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice light creaminess to it as well. Perfect carbonation here. This ends up being quite an easy drinkin beer for the hop lover. Seeing this is from the west coast I assumed it would be a big citrus bomb...but it's far from that! A tasty fresh hop brew from Moonlight that I'm stoked to have had the opportunity to sample. The bomber goes down without any problems.

orbitalr0x, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like everyone else has stated from George's unauthorized bottling project part 2. Many thanks for the chance George.

Pours a deep copper color thats slightly hazy a small one finger off white head forms and falls some lace left behind.

Aroma is fresh hops grass clippings and herbs sprinkled on top of asparagus. The smell is nice inviting and somewhat different then most IPA's.

Taste is hops right off nice green juicy like the smell asparagus sprinkled with grass clippings and herbs. Malt is underneath a mixture of caramel with bready hints. Hops taste fresh and wet with some good bitterness. A decent IPA, would be a nice change from the usual if it was available anywhere.

Mouthfeel is medium but seems somewhat fuller but don't think it is. Carbonation has a little pep to it.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable beer, nice hops good bitterness, and a wee bit different. Wouldn't be a regular but would be good when you want something a bit different.

mntlover, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hophead hats off once again to RedwoodGeorge for sending out this fresh hop ale as one fourth of his 'Unauthorized Home Bottling Project II'. I hope that the label makes it through the queue soon because, like all of his labels, it's extremely well done and is better than what ones sees on most 'authorized' craft beer.

Flawless electric tangerine suffused with a rich, bronze-like glow. Atop the gorgeous beer is a gorgeous head of barely orange-tinted alabaster that has character to burn. The crown is gently rocky as it deflates and graces the glass with an attractive array of finely pocked lace. I have a feeling that the beer will be as wonderful to drink as it is to look at.

Home Grown has a fresh, resinous, raunchy aroma of pink grapefruit, passionfruit, melon and mary jane. It's fruity and funky at the same time and strikes me as remarkably similar to another Unauthorized brew, Russian River's HopTime Harvest. There's nothing better than fresh hops. Picking these things must be quite the experience.

While chewing those little green cones isn't advisable (I've done it), creating beer from them, beer that tastes like this anyway, most certainly is. Maybe it's the fact that it's been more than two months since brewing and more than one month since bottling, but Home Grown isn't as vibrantly hoppy as I had hoped it would be. It's still tremendous beer, it just isn't special beer. Fresh from the tap is almost certainly a different story.

There's plenty of malt on hand that provides the merest hint of caramel flavor amidst what is probably a pale dominanted malt bill. Most well-brewed fresh hop beer (which this one is, without question) is more heavily slanted to the hoppy side of the scale. While I wouldn't call Home Grown balanced, it certainly isn't a buzzsaw of alpha acids. The hop bill is a mystery to me and I won't even hazard a guess.

[One telephone call later... straight from Brian Hunt himself: flavored and bittered with fresh Cascade whole hop flowers that were picked the day of bottling, a very small amount of Horizon, and dry hopped with Chinook.]

Musky citrus fruit rind, pine sap, balsam and a certain unauthorized herb are still the dominant members of the flavor profile. They set up a mid-level thrum above the sugar cookie-like bass line of the malt, rather than the screaming, high end brilliance that I prefer in my IPAs. Again, might I be more impressed if I traveled to Sonoma County and opened a tap directly into my mouth? Probably.

The body/mouthfeel is phenomenal. Each gulp expands as if by magic to fill the mouth with flavor and lightly creamy lushness. Good beer feels voluminous rather than two dimensional and this one is exhibit 'A' in that regard. Kudos to Mr. Hunt and Mr. Bright for the brewing and the bottling respectively.

Homegrown (Greenbud) is a good IPA that falls short of great due to a wee lack of hoppy immediacy, something that all great fresh hop beer should ooze from its every pore. It's still tremendously enjoyable and I hope that I get the chance to try it super fresh some day.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I sample this beer with another BA who owes thanks for the opportunity to a trade with RedwoodGeorge.... Hand-bottled via counter-pressure system, this beer was fantastic and well worth the effort.

Appearance: Pours a tea color with a orange amber gold that lean toward a crimson red hue. (oh how to describe) The tan head was minimal but sufficient and left a little bit of frothy spots of a cap and a frothy halo around the top of the beer. It left little splotches of lacing here and there.

Smell: Starts of with a big whiff if Cascade hops, then there is another hop there I am certain but I am not sure what it is. After the sharp pine aroma there is a pleasantly minty leafy aroma and of course that grass. There is also a toasted malt and slightly butterscotch candy aroma underneath the hops. The aromas and flavor of this beer are all incredibly reminiscent of the Simcoe hop used in Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA though this beer seems like a more restrained; rather tamed version of the beast =)

Taste: The flavors follow the nose. Again it tastes very "Simcoe" with grapefruit hops and buttery creamy smooth sweet toasty malts.

Mouthfeel: Solid strong body that stands up in the mouth. It is slick oily and thick through the center but wrapped with prickly hops that keep it feeling very active.

Drinkability: I really wish that Moonlight Brewing Company would bottle this one. I buy a couple cases.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of merlin48
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand bottled by RedwoodGeorge via counter-pressure system. Many Thanks! Looks like Lipton's tea on the pour. Clear and orange amber, topped by two centimeters of beige head. Scattered lacing patches the glass quite well.

Aroma is herbal and earthy, quite vegetal in a good sense. Hemp resins, tobacco aroma of fresh rolled cigars, fresh lettuce leaves just pulled from the bed, fresh cut grass...Very fresh outdoorsy aromas that reek of fresh hops. Nice!

Medium body has a comfortable medium carbonation and a solid feel of fresh hops resins.

Taste is sharply bitter with a cascading presence of fresh hops. Very earthy and spicy, and very green. Various green vegetables peek out, in a good sense. Hemp, spinach, and lettuce, accented by a pitch of catnip and menthol. Interesting! So earthy with fresh hops it seems "Randallized"...Just enough of a caramel maltiness to prevent a total upheaval. Some grapefruit citrus emerges late and plays into the finish.

What a hop bomb we have here. Very well constructed! The hops in this one absolutely blew my socks off. Wheee..!

merlin48, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with RedwoodGeorge. Thanks for the opportunity... Brewed 9/9/2006, hand-bottled via counter-pressure system 10/12/06.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the slightly cloudy amber brew. Head holds on nicely, with plenty of sticky lacing. Aroma is, as expected dominated by hops, which consist of fresh weedy and vegetal notes. Flavor is crisp maltiness upfront, quickly sharing the stage with the same hops character found int he nose, which lingers on through to dominate the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft, and drinkability is good as well. Somewhat more balanced of the fresh hop brews I've had, for better or worse. My first Moonlight is an enjoyable experience. Here's to many more.

ppoitras, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

biggity-bam! thanx gizznuts.

this brew rocks the unfiltered orange haze look, bubble clusters and frothy haze on the surface. spots of lacing all over the glass, some forming arcs.

overripe, almost rotten citrus sweetness with a spot of tang explodes in the nose. bordering on the sweet perfume of summer garbage, this beer manages to maintain appeal. hops are so fresh they reek of oily underarms and fromunda cheese. new botanical green spritz clashes with what can best be described as pickle brine. yes, i chose some unfortunate words here.. but the summarization is nothing short of fresh picked hop wonders. it's just not amarillo that you're smelling here.

sip.. hops! right away, the medium-bodied brew is nothing more than a base roux for the delivery of off-the-vine hops. the sticky resinous mouth coating, the piney and citrus notes, the bitter cottonmouth effect.. this beer is the result of concentrating the ipa experience into droplets of ecological nectar. malt presence is a bit brown sugary, but is barely noticeable. this is surely a one-dimensional beer, but accomplishes its mission in spades. are you looking for a hop OD? this is the beer to seek out.

drinkable? not sure. i am certainly not chugging this 5+% beer. the dry lip smacking effect that every sip finishes with really prevents that. however, if you are looking for the hoppiest beer that isn't hindered by syrupy malt or alcohol overdose, this is the brew for you. i can certainly appreciate what moonlight has done with this wondrously over-the-top elixir.

goodbyeohio, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of kmpitz2
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, unauthorized home bottle filled off a keg using counter-pressure filler.

This beer is a very deep copper color with a small finger of very loose bubbles over top of it that fall to a sparse coating. The beer is clear, with a lack of carbonation bubbling up. The nose is very green, with solid vegetal hop notes being most prevalent. Behing this the sweet grapefruity and lighter piney hop aromas come through, with a deep caramel-sweet maltyness hanging behind it all. Very nice. The flavor brings a very spicey and peppery hop flavor with some solid piney notes to it as well as the green vegetal fresh notes. The caramel base is nice, and well in the background, as I like it to be for this type of brew. A mild to strong bitterness hits on the finish. It is a little harsh, but fades quickly to a very nice and tasty bitter that clings on to the sides and back of my tongue. It derfinately is a tasty brew. The mouthfeel really hits it for me. The brew is right at moderate with a solid moderate carbonation of very tight and small bubbles. Excellent. Overall, this is a damn fine beer. I like the character added by the fresh hop additions. It is a vegetalness, but a hoppy vegetal, not offensive but tasty. This is a brew I would definately sit down and drink a few of over the course of a night. I'm glad I was selfish and drank this one alone.

kmpitz2, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through the efforts of RedwoodGeorge without which it would not be possible.

This beer is a chill hazed red colored ale with a good tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and fairly malty for what it is, a West Coast IPA. Lots of fresh spicy hop aroma. Hop scent is mostly pine, bay leaf and mint.

Taste is neutral and wood at the beginning with a sharp pine taste. This is considerably bitter and very stuffed full of hops. This is best described as an ale that is pretty much nothing but stuffed full of fresh hops. Subtle flavors do not matter here because the hop bomb obliterates them. Despite the hop load this isn't harshly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good.

If you don't like LOTS of hops don't even think about trying this beer. Just about all the hop flavor that can be stuffed in an ale of this strength. A hopheads dream but this could be more complex in flavor. This is an ale that features raw natural brutish hops as it attraction.

Zorro, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried at Toronado in San Francisco, the board said Chinook (sometimes Moonlight makes it with Cascade hops and sometimes with Chinook).

Clear yellow color, thick fluffy head. The smell was OK, but nowhere near as hoppy as I thought it should be based on the name. Maybe the Cascade hops would be better. Same for taste, it was not a bad IPA but not what I'd hoped.

Disclaimer: I tried it along with Pliny the Elder and Hair of the Dog DIPA which are both outstanding, so it made this beer seem kind of minor league.

TurdFurgison, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11/05/05- Had on tap at the Toronado Wet Hopped Festival in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 6oz samplers poured via tap.

Appearance- Amber colored pour, slight rimmed head with average lace.

Smell- Wonderful fresh fruit hop scent. Not quite as good as the Bear Republic, but almost there.

Taste- Pretty much all these IPA's had a kinda similar taste. They all tasted very fresh, but some had more hop kick than others or were a tad more watery. This was was a bit above the middle which made it ultra drinkable. Great hop flavor as well as malt backing.

Mouthfeel- Was like drinking water...in a good way though. Very smooth.

Drinkability- pjwilson is on the right track. This brew is session quality at it's finest for an IPA. Their Chinnok was good as well, but this one was #2 at the fest for me.

GClarkage, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of pjwilson
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the highlight of the wet hop fest at the toronado, and thus worthy of mention.
Appearance: it is a nice amber color, mabey one shade lighter. not much head
smell: like sniffing a bag of hops. this a wet hop ale, made fresh. man does it smell great.
taste: too much. yet i want to keep sipping. It's like the strongest double ipa, but even stronger and yet in a 5.5 percent malt base. But in Laymen's terms, it's just damn good. I think even the non beer drinkers would like a 6 once of this. because it just hits the spot. Like I said, I tried 10 wet hop ales, and this was heads and shoulders above
drinkability: like all moonlight beers sadly out of my reach unless i come to the bay...which isn't such a bad ride. But yeah, if this was commonly avaliable,it would be a damn fine session beer.

pjwilson, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of watermelonman
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This arrived as a combination of orange and gold with little head. Lace is minimal.

The smell is very nice, bringing a burst of hops. The taste is good too, with hops coming out strong right away but they strangely fade in the finish leading to a sense of flatness. The mouthfeel is good, and it's very easy to drink.

watermelonman, Oct 05, 2005
Photo of carln26
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Tornado. It poured a deep copper color, clear with a thin tan head. Aroma is all sweet hop flower fresh pine, grass. Taste has the pine grass and grapefruit, slight sweetness on the finish. Awesome smooth mouth feel very drinkable. This is a great, fresh harvest ale.

carln26, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at RFD's in a pint glass.

Appearance: Orange amber with a smallish ivory white head. Decent head retention, but not phenomenal. Left small specks and faint rings on the glass.

Smell: Aromas of an anthro major's dorm room. If I ever doubted that ganja and hops were related, I certainly don't any more. Very herbaceous and green. Faint whiffs of citrus.

Taste: Earthy, vegetal hop juices with a decent caramel malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: A tad thin and light in body with lingering bitter aftertastes.

Drinkability: A great beer with a wonderfully soporific effect from the smell alone. Who needs a bong when you have this?

ManekiNeko, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation:-
Served on Draft at the O’Brien’s Wet Hop Festival, 11-20-04.
Sample #2 of 16.
Overall Mark (on the day) = 4.5.

Appearance:
Only the odd lone white bubble on the surface after the pour, but this settled completely flat with minimal head if any. Little carbonation.

Nose:
Very flowery on the hooter. Floral hops that had a slight sweetness in the background, freshly picked spearmint rubs against a raw green hoppy aroma that was almost perfumey at times.

Taste:
My notes were simply; Very Bitter!! Moonlight allegedly uses the same hop field as Russian River. I believe that there are two versions of the Homegrown Harvest Ale, it is either dry-hopped with Wet Cascade or Chinook, the Keg at O’Brien’s was 100% Wet Chinook according to Vinnie of Russian River if my notes serve me right, but I could be wrong. Who cares because this was one of my favorites, for it had a very juicy fruity sweet feel right at first that built up into a freshly grass-stained hoppy middle and a very bitter minty finish with some citric elements. Quite the ride!!!

Mouthfeel:
The initial fruity sweetness, the raw green hops and then the bold bitterness somehow gave the body a dominant feel in the mouth throughout. A big beer on tongue and a tad puckering on the cheeks after the swallow.

Drinkability:
Another immensely drinkable offering at O’Brien’s. This was my first Moonlight brew and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Solid drinker. More please!

Overall:
After getting my O’Brien’s Wet Hop Festival Pint Glass for just $3, I decided to hit the Moonlight for Sample #2. Unfortunately when I asked for my Homegrown Harvest Ale I forgot to make it clear that I only wanted a sample, as a result I ended up with a whole Pint of Moonlight. Oh well, much worse things have happened. Bloody Excellent!!!

TheLongBeachBum, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at a wet hop tasting at RFD’s in Washington DC. This came out a golden orange with a slight white head that left a few rings of lace around glass. Very grassy and earthy aroma here with backing by citric hops. Taste is more of the same with earthy flavors dominating over minor citric notes and a touch of juicy sweetness. This tasted as if they could have squeezed the hops over a glass and served it its so hoppy fresh. Dry bitter finish with a light to medium oily body and excellent drinkability. Too bad there are not any wet hopped beers readily available around here besides Sierra Nevada’s I really enjoyed this beer.

meathookjones, Nov 17, 2004
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Homegrown Fresh Hop Ale from Moonlight Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.