September 13, 2016 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Fresh Hop 2016 is upon us. Hop harvest started a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky and was able to go handpick some Citra hops off a farm on Labor Day for a local brewery here in Woodinville. Who is your favorite fresh hop ale from? Also, while this year may be hard if you can go get to the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival. One of the best beer festivals in the world and right in the middle of where most of the hops come from.
posted by KingBoogly (21 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
i think hops are great and fortunately everyone on mefi agrees with me
posted by beerperson at 2:26 PM on September 13, 2016 [16 favorites]

SUPER relevant to my interests, as my 5 bines are flowering right now. My brewing friend, with whom I have a hops-for-beer arrangement, wants to try using fresh hops this year. But his schedule means it will be a couple weeks before he can start; and I was wondering whether fresh hops can be frozen when they are ripe. Anyone know?

(I don't have a clue what variety my hops are; I grew them from seed back in 2012 when Meantime was giving away little boxes of hops seeds. I raised 8 bines successfully, but when they flowered in the second year I had to destroy the 3 which turned out to be male.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:39 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is the one beer trend I do not get. I've never had a fresh hop beer that felt unique from dried hops.

That said, all of my examples have come from Austin who are currently rushing to get these things made.
posted by lownote at 2:39 PM on September 13, 2016

Fresh Hops vs. Wet Hops might answer your question, Pallas Athena.
posted by lownote at 2:41 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Deschutte's brings it every year. it used to be called Hop Trip, but last year Fresh Squeezed replaced it (and has remained on shelves and on tap all year), so i wonder what this year's will be?

Me and my cousin grow our own, so of course there's our own homebrew too, and it's beautiful. Northern Brewer, Centennial, Willamette, and Cascade for bittering, saaz and NB for aroma. Grassy, citrus nose, pine/citrus hoppiness and a long long malty finish. lager yeast for smoothness. we don't brew to style, we brew what we like to drink.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:43 PM on September 13, 2016 [9 favorites]

Oh man, and Two Beers is debuting the new fresh hopped ale tonight in Ballard. If I wasn't taking a friend to dinner for her birthday, I would be there in heartbeat. Two Beers does excellent work.

(I have often been in the position of going to the bar and asking for two Two Beers. I've yet to have a barperson say "You mean four beers?")
posted by lumpenprole at 2:51 PM on September 13, 2016

Was reading first line in post and expecting post to be about rap/hip-hop. Turns out that post is about beer. Win win. Thanks for sharing.
posted by Fizz at 3:15 PM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

The local brewery is doing a wet hop one-off that is made with all local ingredients. The rest of their stuff is absurdly tasty so I am looking forward to it coming out on Friday.

(Stone City Ales in Kingston if you're curious, we did a small meetup there once.)
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 4:16 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

We just harvested about half of ours (Centennial, Cascade and Columbia). My kids hate picking them but what are kids for if not agricultural labor?
posted by padraigin at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2016 [7 favorites]

I was delighted to find hops plants hidden among the other displays at the Green Animals Topiary Gardens, just north of Newport, RI. There were four of them growing up along wires, back at one edge of the garden, and some small ones wrapped around a long trellis-tunnel that also features novelty gourds.

I wanted to steal them, but I resisted. (It was difficult.)
posted by wenestvedt at 5:29 PM on September 13, 2016

I always like driving through the hop farms because the angles of the hop trellises are so geometric. I don't know if I have ever had a fresh hop beer, but earlier today I heard people talking about it, so it is legitimately a Thing.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:16 PM on September 13, 2016

My hops are BLOWING UP this year. I always end up growing hops wherever we moved to and fro, but when we moved into our current house a year and a half ago, I noticed that there were already some! Last year they were waaaaay smaller and didn't yield much, but this year, after some pruning and some natural fertilizer, they kind of took over the whole front of the house. They're big enough to split next year, and I'll be planting more along the side of our house, to the right of that little plot. They'll be able to grow much taller over there, hopefully up to the roofline if I make a trellis big enough for them.

Whenever I have fresh hops, I just do a basic, super simple kolsch beer. It's so nice and pleasant, and really lets the hops shine through. I might have enough this year to do a pale and a kolsch though. Eeeeeee, hops!
posted by furnace.heart at 7:26 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I planted a Nugget rhizome last year, and after a season of painstaking love and care I was yielded one single hop cone the size of a baby's fingernail. Then I had to leave that apartment and move somewhere without outdoor space.

I still wonder how that plant is doing.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:18 PM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Probably still growing like a weed. Hops are damn hard to kill if they get enough water.

For me, while I love some hoppy goodness, I've never really been jazzed by the fresh hop thing. Too much "green" in the beer, for me.

Just want to finish my Saison Yeast project so I can go wander off to other things, but damnit people keep releasing other yeast strains. (Bonus footage of me drinking a few Saisons in that page)
posted by drewbage1847 at 12:32 AM on September 14, 2016

Hop Season in WA basically starts right as Green Chile Season in NM is winding down. These are two things greatly relevant to my interests.
posted by hippybear at 12:49 AM on September 14, 2016

Get fresh hop beer twice a year!
posted by fixedgear at 3:35 AM on September 14, 2016

Itaxpica, I've done the same thing at nearly all my old apartments, and yes, as long as it was in a halfway decent spot, it's probably producing. I've delicately snuck into the backyard of a former residence (which was more of a courtyard) just to check on them; they were untamed and kind of a nest. If someone ever found them who cared, and build a nice trellis, they'd probably go bonkers.
posted by furnace.heart at 7:21 AM on September 14, 2016

I am excite that my local microbrewery is releasing one of their wet hop beers this Friday. ALL THE GRABBY HANDS
posted by Kitteh at 8:18 AM on September 14, 2016

I found wild hops growing along a stream I frequent, then I saw vines in a campground farther up the stream. Interesting huh? I picked some, because I had been reading up on stomach issues for a friend. Hops tea is supposedly good for some things, like taking bitters. Hops are pretty, I kept some in my fruit bowl for the winter.
posted by Oyéah at 8:39 PM on September 14, 2016

Take a good smell on them - depending on where you found them - they probably smell like a combination of "catty" and blackberry because they're probably a wild variant of Cluster hops which used to pretty much grow all over North America and were the dominant form of American hop for the longest time. (And hence why American hops had a bad/cheap reputation globally until recently)
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:16 AM on September 15, 2016

I have had fresh hopped and dry hopped Nelson Sauvin beers from the same New Zealand brewery and the difference was striking! Both amazing in their own way, like the difference between freshly cut grass and hay.
posted by asok at 3:25 PM on September 15, 2016

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