Fresh Hop 2019

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by beertunes, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
    Trader

    Seems a bit early to me, but, Two Beers was picking their hops a couple days ago. from Washington Beer Blogs FB page: https://www.facebook.com/
     
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  2. vurt

    vurt Meyvn (1,039) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    How bout that. I don't usually get the fresh hop cravings until next month. (Can't say I've ever been particularly thrilled with Two Beers' fresh hop offerings, but hey, the season has to start somewhere.)
     
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  3. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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    Well, given a typical 2-ish week gestation, it'll be next month before the beer is out.....
     
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  4. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,031) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    Oh man, seeing this thread got me excited. Hope to get some NW fresh hop goodness when we're climbing in the Bend area the first week of September (knowing that is still a bit early). How I'd love to get fresh hop Pallet Jack again!
     
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  5. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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    Should be plenty available by then.
     
  6. vurt

    vurt Meyvn (1,039) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    It makes me happy to know you've had the chance to try FH Pallet Jack, since I know how much you dig the regular version.

    FH Pallet Jack was Mrs. vurt's first beer at our first trip to the festival in Yakima a few years ago. "That's it!" she declared with a radiant smile. "Found mah brand!!"
     
  7. crusian

    crusian Crusader (783) May 14, 2010 Oregon

    Way to fuckin early. It's like a pumpkin beer thread. Lol
     
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  8. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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    The hops are ready when the hops are ready. It's not like the hops just sit there on the bine until some arbitrary time when the brewers decide to brew them.
     
  9. johnniehops

    johnniehops Initiate (88) Mar 25, 2015 Oregon
    Trader

    Deschutes had a FH red floating around PDX. Tasted it. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.
     
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  10. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,031) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    My buddy's exact words when I poured him a glass from the growler i brought back to CA, "Holy F**k, you just ruined me for IPAs in the future!" So good
     
  11. vurt

    vurt Meyvn (1,039) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    You found a place that would sell you a growler of it? Respect.
     
  12. jakecattleco

    jakecattleco Poo-Bah (2,031) Sep 3, 2008 California
    Society Trader

    b2 Taphouse in Salem
     
  13. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (360) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon

    Two Beers has been putting out the first fresh hop beers for years. They pick the early harvest Centennial hops. Ex Novo does the same and shouldn't be too far behind.
     
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  14. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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    Yeah, the story is there's one hillside that gets light early, so they start quicker, and mature sooner. Shrug. YMMV.
     
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  15. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,050) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    I’ve already got fully formed Chinook cones on my pergola. This is the earliest I’ve ever had any.
     
  16. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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    I'm impressed that you have a pergola!
     
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  17. derftron

    derftron Disciple (343) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    What i always like about FH season is the surprises that come from left field. Every year there are a handful of FH beers that truly standout that nobody was expecting.
     
  18. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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  19. NedStarkravingmad

    NedStarkravingmad Initiate (52) Apr 26, 2015 Washington
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  20. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (553) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Industry

    Our first fresh hop beer of the year from Breakside will be Pilsner with fresh Sterling, which was one of my favorites last year. Should be out best the end of August/first week of September. Sadly, we don't have time in the schedule to do quite as many fresh hop beers as we did last year but there will be at least a few more, I'll update here when I know.
     
  21. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,370) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    You guys do such a great job with fresh hop ipas, I'm puzzled by the decision to make a fresh hop pils. Outside of a fh Braumeister pils I had from Victory some years ago, I've never had a lager where I felt the fresh hops brought anything interesting to the party. I plan to keep an open mind and look forward to sampling your version, but I'm puzzled by the decision to make a fh pils.
     
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  22. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Given the lagering time, are fresh hop lagers typically “wet/dry-hopped” closer to packaging, or are the fresh hops used before lagering with the hope that the FH character will still be evident afterwards? Does this beer still utilize the dry ice shatter FH method?
     
  23. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Sterling hops are not likely to make much impact in an IPA, FH or otherwise, so I’m guessing access to fresh Sterlings drove the beer style decision vs. starting with a desired style and designing the subsequent hop bill in this case. Although with non-noble hop usage in pilsners/lagers on the rise, who’s to say there won’t be multiple FH Italian Pilsners/ West Coast Pilsners/ IPL’s this year? Either way, I’ll be keeping an open mind like you and hoping Breakside’s FH Pils is a surprise highlight of the 2019 season. One of my favorite things about FH season is the unexpected wow moments.
     
  24. vurt

    vurt Meyvn (1,039) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    Baerlic has done a fresh hop helles called Hellsner that was just terrific.
     
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  25. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (553) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Industry

    We did this beer with the same fresh hop last year and really enjoyed it, so we decided to bring it back. Personally, I like that we try to do something outside of the styles you might typically expect for fresh hop season. Plus, I think the rest of our FH beers will be some sort of IPA, and not everyone enjoys IPAs, so no harm in doing one that's a little different. Hope you like it, cheers.
     
  26. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (553) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Industry

    Yep, the pils will still use the flash frozen hops - basically all of our FH beers are "dry hopped" in the brite tank for a few days just before being packaged, so the aroma and flavor of the FH are preserved as much as possible.
     
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  27. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (553) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Industry

    Sterling brings a lot of similar flavors to the beer that you might expect from noble hops - floral and spicy, but with some American hop fruitiness that makes it a little more interesting. It's a fun hop to use and has a great flavor without overshadowing the more delicate aspects of the pilsner. Hope you like it, cheers.
     
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  28. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,370) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Have had it and agree it was good. However, I thought it a good example of what I memtioned in my previous post. I didn't feel the fresh hops added much to the nose or flavor profile.

    I love fresh hop beers, particularly when they add a unique flavor component to the mix. For the most part, I only seem to get that in APA's and IPA's (though Crux made a fh saison a couple years ago that I thought was terrific).
     
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  29. derftron

    derftron Disciple (343) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    I thought this one from Matchless had a nice FH taste to it. i bought quite a few last year when the IPAs were beginning to wear down my palate

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/47868/306798/?ba=jakecattleco
     
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  30. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,370) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    One thing I've noticed, is that more and more FH lagers are being made each year. I go to the FH event in Hood River and Portland every year, and so got to try quite a few different one's last year. Some were better than others, but none of them had that unique "fresh hop aroma/flavor" I can so often pick up in IPA's and APA's. It just made wonder why a lot of breweries even bother to make them.
     
  31. Naikoon

    Naikoon Initiate (47) May 25, 2018 Washington

    Maybe because, as stated above, some solid brewers enjoy the process of experimentation with fresh hops, and some consumers aside from you actually appreciate those results.

    Pretty simple, at the end of the day. A wider diversity in tastes, styles, and execution is a good thing.
     
  32. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,370) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    What do you feel those "results" consist of?

    As I mentioned, I've enjoyed a number of the FH lagers I've sample over the past few years, but didn't understand the point or purpose of adding fresh hops. In other words, it seemed to me as if those beers would have tasted pretty much the same even if the brewer hadn't used fresh hop versions. In my experience, that's been the case well over 90% of the time.

    I don't want to just repeat myself, so let me just use Laurelwood's workhorse IPA as an example. The FH version has generally been quite different than the regular version. Personally, I like both versions, but the fresh hops add a different aroma and flavor component that I think really sets it apart. So making a fresh hop version of the workhorse makes complete sense to me. FH pallet jack is another great example. Both great beers (the regular and the FH version), but very distinctly different in aroma and flavor.

    I don't get that in most FH lagers, which is the reason for my post. I'm trying to understand what it is that the brewer is going for in a FH lager, seeing as how the addition of fresh hops in the recipe doesn't seem to add anything distinctive (at least not that I can generally discern) to the aroma or flavor profile.

    If you've had the chance to sample a fh hop version of a lager and then the same lager without fresh hops, are you able to tell the difference?
     
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  33. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,050) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    Looking forward to my annual single can of Two Beers FH and then being like "yeah, I'm glad I only bought a single can."
     
  34. derftron

    derftron Disciple (343) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    lmao. they are always first out the gate, and always oh so underwhelming :slight_frown:
     
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  35. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,131) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    On one hand, I want all FH beers to be awesome. On the other, my “FH season experience” would suck if the best one came out first and it was all downhill from there.
     
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  36. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
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    I always buy a couple, just on principle. Supporting the process.
     
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  37. Naikoon

    Naikoon Initiate (47) May 25, 2018 Washington

    I can perceive a difference, and about as often as I can with FH APAs/IPAs. Which is to say not each and every time, but enough to make me happy. So I'm grateful for that little extra bit of variety in FH styles and for brewers who are willing to take chances and try something new.

    In short, I disagree with your subjective experience. Doesn't make you wrong (or me right), but just because you don't understand the point of something or share the exact same perceptions as others doesn't mean those realities beyond your own are invalid. Or that they have to be endlessly explained and defended until they aren't.
     
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  38. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,370) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    A reasonable response, except I'm still waiting for a single example. The fact you're unable or unwilling to provide one makes me question your answer. In short, I'm not convinced your response is based on actual experience (but instead is just something you think sounds good).

    You're of course are entitled to your opinion, but it would be nice if it were based on an actual experience you can point to. My guess is that I probably shouldn't hold my breath waiting for one.
     
    #38 John_M, Aug 15, 2019 at 5:17 AM
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 5:50 AM
  39. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands
    Trader

    FWIW, IMHO, I find a brewery making a fresh hop pale or IPA predictable.

    Enjoyable, but, certainly, predictable. I like when the expected is great, but also enjoy when an atypical style is tackled.

    In other words: ISO FH BBA maple Saison, with Brett.

    Uh, just for science, ya umderstand......
     
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  40. Naikoon

    Naikoon Initiate (47) May 25, 2018 Washington

    I can't fathom why you think I'd lie about this, but I'll give you the examples you desperately need if it'll put this to bed once and for all.

    Last year I had 4, 3 of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Not a bad percentage even if it's a small sample. A Holy Mountain collab with Burial and Other Half, Valley of Kings, was my favorite. The FH version of Cloudburst's Happy Little Clouds was also excellent. And the aforementioned Crosby Hop Farm FH pils from Matchless wasn't far behind. (The 4th was so unmemorable that I've forgotten it.) To my palate, there was some really nice FH character in all of them while still remaining true to style.

    Do you believe me now, or must I provide the CCTV footage and fMRI scans of me actually drinking these beers before you'll accept that someone other than you can appreciate them?

    Either way, I've said my piece. It's better if this thread gets back to celebrating the wonderful bounty which envelops us rather than bickering over irreconcilable differences in taste.
     
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