Fresh Hop 2006 | Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

13 Ratings

Brewed by:
Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by feloniousmonk on 09-28-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Misty tangerine with radiant amber edges. The head is a little darker than eggshell white in color, displays a crazily bubbled surface and is beginning to lay down thick sheets of rough hewn, finely pocked, resiny lace. If my pint last night at Town Hall is any indication, I'll be looking at an incredibly crusty glass in the end (whenever the end comes).

The nose score is a no brainer. Ever wonder what fresh, pure Centennial hop juice smells like? Fresh hop 2006 is your answer. It's hugely aromatic and is bursting with pulverized grapefruit peel and pine that I could smell as soon as I removed the growler cap. I've given up trying to come up with my 'best beer noses of all time' list. Suffice it to say that this one is a permanent member of the top-5. Nothing in this world beats the aroma of uber-fresh, hoppy beer.

Again, flavor is an easy call and is one that I made after my first few sips last night. First of all, throw any thoughts of balance right out the window. If the brewing gods at Town Hall say that this beer is unbalanced, believe it. No one (I repeat, no one) who is at all ambivalent about hops is going to continue after one mouthful.

Fresh Hop 2006 is the Alpha and the Omega of hoppy beer and will test the limits of the most died-in-the-wool hophead. I'm trying to decide if it's the hoppiest beer that I've ever had and I've decided that it is. Maybe not in terms of IBUs (easily in the triple digits), but in terms of pure, unadulterated, phenomenally bitter hop juiciness. Some may quibble with that assessment, but if we narrow it down to APAs... no contest by a few million light years.

Each mouthful is a dizzying experience in sensory overload. A massive flood of resiny, buzzsaw-like white grapefruit rind obliterates everything in its path, while fantastically floral, crazily citric hoppiness shines with the brightness of a thousand suns. Am I overstating the case? Drink this bad boy and then tell me I'm wrong. I'm struck by how much it tastes like Bell's Two Hearted Ale, another Centennial-only beer. Given the sheer amount of lupulin madness, though, this one would have to be called Four Hearted. No, make that Eight Hearted.

Despite the fact that it's almost brutal in its hoppiness, each glassful is disappearing amazingly quickly. At only 4.6%, Fresh Hop could almost be considered a session beer. That is, if you didn't want to taste anything else for the following 24 hours or so. It's simply unbelievable just how delicious this stuff is. It's like heroin for hopheads.

I'm not a bit surprised that the body isn't quite what I'd call perfect. My big beer bias won't let me give the ultimate score to a beer that's this light in the mouth unless it's impossibly, airily creamy, as a few Belgians have been for me. That's not to say that it isn't fantastic for the style. It's perfectly calibrated to allow one to gulp as fast as the shock troop hoppiness allows. With such a relatively small amount of malt on hand, the mouthfeel can only be so plush.

I've slept twice since returning from Town Hall last night. Both times I dreamed of Fresh Hop 2006. Now *that* is the mark of a truly great beer. I continue to be amazed at the brewing excellence on display by Hoops and his band of hop-crazed magicians. How in the world will they ever top this? I don't think I'll be able to wait an entire year to find out what they come up with next. I've finally run out of superlatives. Thankfully, I haven't yet run out of one of the best beers to ever enter my glass.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of shbobdb
3.79/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Holy freakin' crap! This is the hoppist beer I have ever drank! Wow, it was like paint thinner for my taste buds, it stripped them clean and left me hurting for more.

Wow, it was really such an overwhelming beer that I really have a hard time describing it -- Imagine taking a handful of citrusy and resiny PNW hop pellets and shoving them in your mouth.

I'm serious, this beer was like drinking hopped wort, without the benefit of fermentation to ease the ravaging of my tastebuds. Ruination seems tame next to this beer.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Thanks go out to Tastey Taste for this one. Acquired during hop harvest season. Growler with a whole hop cone inside. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep copper in color with soft orange hues. Off white head pours one finger thick and dissapates amlost immediatley. Nice thin sticky lacing.

S: Citrus juice. Caramel malts. Citrus hops. Pine hops. Herbal hops and more hops.

T: Clean citrus juice is immediately taken over by huge Centennial hop wave that gives off a pleasent bitter bite. Soft malt presence gives some balance but then the hops come back for another assult on the palate. Herbal in nature with a medicinal clean finish.

M: Smooth and slightly slick. Moderate carbonation. Puckeringly dry.

D: This is the best Pale Ale that I have had the pleasure of sampling. A huge hop bomb without all the heaviness and high alcohol of A DIPA. Knocked back two more right after my initial review sample and I was hop medicated the the entire evening.
Highly recommended!

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very hazed body, nice bleached white head, great lace.

Smell: Ooh that smell, can't you smell that smell? Nothing finer than a fresh hopped APA. It is so raw and juicy, it is just great.

Taste: The hops are beer here. No strong alcohol, no big malt. You get the essence, start to finish, of hops. Herbal, floral, all the things you would expect from a pale ale. Fresh hops are the way to go in the style, no doubt. Not a lot of balance, but this beer is and example of what I want in a pale ale, very good.

Drinkability: A delicious beer, it gives you so a lot of hop flavor to process. I don't know if I could session a whole lot of these richly flavored pale ales, but I know i really like this beer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Fridays are always good, the end of a heavy work week and time to relax, but the delivery of an extremely well packed Minneapolis Town Hall Growler from Sir BigHuge was another welcome treat. The twisted cap was covered in black tape and partially hid a Minneapolis Town Hall white sticker, indicating that this is real deal no doubt. The Growler has two small white stickers on the back, the first says “FH”, which I presume means Fresh Hop and Enjoy By “1010”.

Appearance: Oh my!!! I jumped when I first starting to pour from the Growler into my large 24 ounce handled Jug; the beer flow came to an abrupt stop as a large flowered hop blocked the neck!!! Now this is certainly a Fresh Hop beer for sure, no mistaking that. Working the deleterious material aside, the beer has a rather striking look. Soft amber body with some turbid unfiltered coppery tones. Off-white dirty beige head lasts the distance and is surprisingly perky when first poured. Excellent lacing, ring style Belgian plimsoll lines and a smattered crust laden interior decorate the walls of my drinking vessel. It all looks very good.

Nose: Gosh, this has a terrifically pungent nose hair grabbing aroma that draws you in. Hemp, wet ropes and resinous pine oils dominate the aromas but drill down and in the background sharp grapefruits, lemons and some orange pimples the pets.

Taste: Lots of sharp bitter grapefruits and a striking astringency is the trademark here. Raw hops, harsh bitterness and at times an uncomfortable astringent sour grapefruit twang. Orange pith adds some fruity tingles to the finish. This is not a brew for the feint of heart. Overall it would be very easy to “knock” this brew for its poor balance and harsh character, but that is to miss the whole “Fresh/Wet Hop” angle, in this respect this is the Dogs Bollocks. I love the harsh, dry, sour, grapefruit aspects and the striking bitterness that seems to last forever. This is a Love/Hate relationship, but I love it.

Mouthfeel: No messing around here, it is not smooth, nor refined, it has no comfy seats. Stripped down to the bone this Fresh Hop brew is the bare bones and it reveals all that is great about the Hop….but some may take to the discordant nature. Abrasive and in yer face……awesome stuff.

Drinkability: As ruthless as this is, I *love* it, and I find it a “comebackto” brew which is hard to put down. I’m up for draining the Growler tonight, and I just might. Actually I paired the latter part of my Growler with one of my homemade Curries…and it works just perfectly. Super stuff.

Overall: Strikingly insensitive, uncompromisingly raw, and fantastically fresh….but I like that; and this is to be expected for a Wet Hop brew. In fact, it is one thing that I have come to like and enjoy from the Wet Hop brews that I have sampled over the years in the US, and thanks to the Wet Hop Festival at O’Briens in San Diego I have had the pleasure to sample many. Quite simply the Minneapolis Town Hall is one of the better ones to date. I should not sign off without a large flowery Hoptastic bitter backslap to my good friend Sir BigHuge for this one, only my trip to Russian River at the end of this year will produce anything to equal this marvelous Growler. Cheers Joe!!! Hopefully we’ll get to share a brew in person sometime in 2007. Raw Wet Hops….it’s what it is all about.

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Photo of dfried
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a self described hop head, so I was very excited for this beer to come out. I have had it three timies now, the Wednesday it was released, the growler I picked up of it on the following Saturday, and a couple at Town Hall on Sunday night (to celebrate the Twins division title.) The beer is a slightly hazy, brownish amber in color, with a fluffy and frothy white head.

The first time I had it, right after it was finished brewing, it was so piney and resinous that I was a bit off put at first. I thought it was barely drinkable. The first pint took forever, and it took until the end to even taste anything other than hop resin, I mean you could barely even detect alcohol in it. I ended up having a couple more pints that day, enjoying each one more and more, but still not too sure about what I thought of it. I made sure and pick up one of the first 50 growlers though, of which they put a hop in each one.

I shared that growler with a friend on that next Saturday night though, and wow, it became a lot better. Still in your face hoppy, but much more of the flavors of the hops started comming out. Vibrant floral and citrus flavors started comming out, and the resin toned down to more of a musty flavor. In my review notes the last line I wrote was, "It's like having an orange slice in my mouth." I didn't tell my buddy about the hop in the growler, you should have seen him jump when it poured half out of the bottle, he thought it was a mouse or something since it was covered with white foam.

Sunday, at the pub. If it's possible it got even better. I almost got the notion of balance with the malt for a minute...almost.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub: A hazen, fuzzy medium yellowy amber with a finger high head of whitish foam. Great frosty lacing is captured across the glass as its consumed.

Pungently fresh hoppy aroma of high ended grapefruity pith and undertoned pine with a slight greasy resin to its nature. Hugely hoppy on the nose. Fresh, crisp, pungent, and Centenially grapefruited.

Taste is a hop heads wet dream. Way over the top with a huge snap and bite of hoppy grapefruit pith and pine resin. Bitterness is bright, brittle, and squeezed heavy across the finish with a barren wasteland of parched cheeks and throats in an unbalanced tilt towards the hops. As warned in the labeling, this is not balanced, and that is definately true here. I like to consider myself a hop head. But I also need some balance to the flavors of the hops I love to enjoy. Perhaps a little to much, even for me, as it was not all that complex or easy to enjoy. Quite one dimensional with the Centennial leading every drop of flavor into the palate with a quick squeezing of grapefruit juices, pith, peels, and some slight pine resin to top it off.

Feel is about medium, good crispness, fresh hop grab, no doubt, bitterness is quite grapefruity and lasting with a brittle parchness.

First few sips will knock your buds for a spin, but once adapted to the new surroundings, its a pretty decent, over hopped, unbalanced, IPA. Not for the faint of delicate palates on this one. Whooof-da...

I'll take the Simcoe over this every time though.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the first 50 growlers filled via a trade from FeloniousMonk. Wow! Poured with a frothy stunning ivory cap atop a peach amber pour. Plenty of tacky lace!

Nose assault of FRESH yes FRESH hops assault! Wow! Tons of floral piney nose that directly translates to a nose of bright orange juice, Tang and white grapefruit. Awesome beer that went lightning fast!

Special thanks for the FH designated growler. Just awesome! Had the TownHall fresh hop last year while in town and this was just as good. Also, the growler had a bloated hop flower in it.

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Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love Centennial hops so it's not surprising that I find this a very enjoyable beer.

Appearance: Pours a deep golden color...nice lacing on the glass..

Smell: Aroma of tobacco leaf and cannibus..also a mild biscuit impression.

Taste: A lot of raw bitterness but quite drinkable...the hops lend a good dose of bitter grapefruit and some chinook like piney-ness.

Mouthfeel: As heavy on the hops as this is, it does not taste like unbalanced hop juice. It is very bitter though....Body is medium...finishes with a strong bitterness.

Drinkability: I rate this high because this is a true treat. Would pair nicely with some spicy mexican food, but a good drinker on its own. I wanted to save a portion of this growler for tomorrow but it will be difficult keeping this one down for another day.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazed copper. Frothy off-white head that has a bigass hop cone floating in it. Lace is quite good.

Aroma: Top notch. Everything good about hops all in one. It's pungent. It's lemony. It's resiny. It's cannabis. It's grapefruit rind.

Taste: (See aroma.) And also present is a huge bitterness that is quite raw.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very agreeable. The carbonation is present, but doesn't get in the way.

Drinkability: For the hop bomb that this is, it is actually quite refreshing and drinkable. A growler will be no problem, and I can't say that about every hop bomb that I've encountered.

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Photo of ryantupy
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a strawish copper hue with a nice frothy head.
S - Strong hop bitterness with mild citruis. Really hits you at first another reviewer noted cannabis which I found to be very true.
T - Huge hop flavor with again citruis, lemon, a huge prevelent bite to it with a very cannabis like finish to it.
M - Slightly carbonated and a nice slick oily mouthfeel that leaves you looking for more.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I fell in love with fresh hop beers a year ago at GABF, so I rushed down for a pint of Town Hall's newest version of the elusive brew. In a word--mind blowing. A beautiful beer in the glass, a sunset orange, glowing in the glass with a white head on top that fell into an absolutely magnificent lace all the way down the side. It helped that the first pint went down quickly to show off the lace. Big, gigantic, humongous spicy citrus aroma of the Centennial hops in the nose--almost reaches out and grabs you. And, there's no false advertising here--it is bitter from front to back, and multilevel--you can taste the multiple additions, the blend of bite from the underlying sharpness of the early additions to the later aroma additions the overlay the former. The body of the beer is decidedly medium--light for so many hops, so it accentuates it even more. This would be an over hopped IPA rather than a Imperial IPA because there isn't enough body to meet the definition of the latter. Very, very slight grassy taste—a hint—from the high hop rate—nothing to pay attention to compared to the rest of the all. I’m having trouble rating this beer. Personally, I found it a bit much, and I thought I was a hop head. While excellent, fun, cool, interesting, including my second pint—I don’t think I’m going to get a growler. The guy sitting beside at the big screen TV said this was just tapping into his range of hoppiness, and considered it a very nice daily session beer for his tastes. So, read the number rating with a grain of hops. If you like big—get down to TH quick.

Just had the cask version of this very big ale. Still very bitter, but with a cream smoothness that is unparalleled. As good as Masala Mama on cask, which I thought was my favorite beer. This fresh hop on cask is wonderful. The head was so thick that it was still there at the bottom of the class when I finished, like drinking the cream after having the milk. If you remotely liked the straight up version, get to TH quick for it on cask. And, it is particularly beautiful cascading in the class as well.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

204 pounds of fresh, wet Centennial hops, delivered fresh off the vine directly to the pub. Minimal malt, smallish alcohol, it's all about the hops and the bitterness, and it's f*%kin' incredible!

A hazy golden appearance, definitely unfiltered, this one, with a rocky white head, solid and stable.

Aroma is out of this world. Reeks of grapefruit, pine resin, etcetera, not a suggestion, not a hint, a huge slap of it, big, fat, and in your friggin' face!
Tropical fruits abound as well, very vibrant, out loud and proud. Incomparable. Hol---ee---shite!

Taste: dare we? yes!
Bam! SlamBoom, Bam! Big bitterness, huge fruit flavor, intense hop character, and it's 100% Centennial. Imagine TwoHearted Ale mutated into some sort of 100 feet tall radioactive monster...and neither you, or the Army, or Slim Whitman can save any of us.
Drink it again, and once you get past the big, fat bitterness, it's just delicious...absolutely and totally...Good God, this is Godzilla strding across the Pacific, whetting his chops, eager to bite into the California coast. It stil spills forth juicy fruitness, and pineapple and orange and mango, but the bitterness is so intense and utterly enjoyable, it's unlike anything I've ever had.

Big body, long, very fresh and bittersweet finish, intract mouthfeel. Awesome.

You might think the drinkability would be low, but I had 5 pints at the pub before I left, and here I am at home with a freshly cracked growler, still able to taste, still reeling in the feeling. It's that goddamned good!

This effort pushes the envelope as far as Town Hall has gone, and farther than most places have ever contemplated trying. Huge 'nads to pull this off...and mission accomplished. I will be back as often as allowed to enjoy this nectar before we drain it all dry.

P.S., the growler could not be finished in one evening, yes, even I yielded to it's onslaught and turned to the milder Masala Mama to cap the night. But I finish it the next day, and it's lost none of it's bite, truly good to the last drop. Or, should I say, plop? a beautiful green Centennial hop bounces from the bottom of the vessel into my glass, making my last taste all the sweeter. Or should that be, "bitterer?"

P.S. V 2.0
A week later, it's positively mellow. I downed a growler in one night with no trouble. Still loved it harsh, though...

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Fresh Hop 2006 from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
Beer rating: 4.43 out of 5 with 13 ratings
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