Fresh Hop 2012

Back in 2008 I got my first taste of a fresh hop beer (or wet hop, depending on your nomenclatural proclivities) and was blown away. They tend to have bigger hop flavors, less bitterness, and sometimes some interesting grassy undertones. Not quite sure why, but I promptly forgot about the “freshies” until I finally, fortunately, re-discovered them in 2011. Then it was a long wait until the 2012 fresh hop beer season began, and, well, I went a little nuts trying as many as I could. Other things, like sleeping and working, got in the way of sampling even more. I took notes on most of them, but it’d be too much work to type them all in here, so I’m just going to do my usual “Rob’s Picks” and “The Rest” lists without any descriptions, although if it’s from a brewery I’ve visited I’ll add my notes to the corresponding post.

    Rob’s Picks

  • 7 Seas – Hop Prophet Fresh Hop Pale Ale
  • Beer Valley – Leafer Madness Fresh Hop IPA (cask)
  • Beer Valley – Tri-State Fresh Hop Pale Ale
  • Big Al – Fresh Hop Harvest
  • Black Diamond – Fresh Hop IPA
  • Bainbridge Island – Locabore
  • Deschutes – Chasin’ Freshies Fresh Hop IPA
  • Deschutes – Hop Trip
  • Double Mountain – Killer Green Fresh Hop Imperial IPA
  • Elysian – Chinookie Fresh Hop Pale Ale
  • Elysian – Kama Citra Wet Hop American Red
  • Elysian/New Belgium – Trip XIV: Imperial Fresh Hop
  • Everybody’s Brewing – Head Stash
  • Fremont – Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop Organic Ale
  • Foggy Noggin – Diablo del Sol Fresh Hop #1
  • Foggy Noggin – Diablo del Sol Fresh Hop #2
  • Foggy Noggin – Diablo del Sol Fresh Hop #3
  • Foggy Noggin – Diablo del Sol Fresh Hop #4
  • Full Sail – Hopfenfrisch Fresh Hop Pilsner
  • Georgetown – DHX: Fresh Hop Harvest Ale
  • Georgetown – DH369: Fresh Hop Harvest Ale (Mosaic hops)
  • Great Divide – Fresh Hop Pale Ale
  • Hale’s – Fresh Hop Pale Ale
  • Maritime Pacific – XPA
  • Naked City – Hoptari
  • Ninkasi – Smells Like Purple Fresh Hop Pale
  • Ninkasi – Total Crystalation
  • Paradise Creek – Alpha Madness Fresh Hop IPA
  • Schooner Exact – Amarillo Fresh Hop Pale Ale
  • Sierra Nevada – Celebration
  • Sierra Nevada – Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop
  • Sierra Nevada – Southern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop
  • Two Beers – Fresh Hop
    The Rest

  • Bainbridge Island – Estate IPA
  • Boulder – Freshtracks Wet Hopped Singletrack
  • Cascade – Fresh Hop Porter
  • Chatoe Rogue – Wet Hop Pale Ale
  • Double Mountain – Killer Red Fresh Hop India Red Ale
  • Elliott Bay – Fresh Hop
  • Northwest Peaks – Slot Fresh Hop
  • Port Brewing – High Tide Fresh Hop IPA
  • Sierra Nevada – Estate Homegrown Fresh Hop
  • Terminal Gravity – Wild Wild Wet Fresh Hop

After a few months of my fresh hop frenzy I was pretty much all freshed out. Now in July 2013, as I tap this into my phone at the Stumbling Monk, there is a Sierra Nevada fresh hop on tap (they seem to release them year round – how do they do that?), and I have no desire to order a pint. Maybe I need a year off. Or maybe (and I know this is crazy talk) I just need to moderate my fresh hop intake. Or maybe September will roll around, and I’ll go nuts all over again. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Bicycle Ale-Liance

Ale-Liance IPA

The limited Ale-Liance IPA from Schooner EXACT at the Bicycle Alliance office

I’m a big fan of biking to breweries, in case you hadn’t noticed, and the month of May is Bike to Work Month (or just Bike Month, as now seems to be the case). To celebrate, the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and Schooner EXACT Brewing put their collective heads together and came up with the Ale-Liance IPA. The Bicycle Alliance does a lot of great bicycle advocacy work across the state, and Schooner EXACT makes a lot of great beer. I dropped in on the Ale-Liance release party for a free pint or two, and was not disappointed. So yeah, just wanted to help spread the word on all this: Go for a bike ride! Drink a fine Ale-Liance IPA! Enjoy the beautiful weather Seattle is finally getting!

Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger

Two small glasses (7.5 ounces) of Pliny the Younger

February means one thing (at least for some people): hunting season has officially opened for Pliny the Younger. Made by Russian River Brewing, Pliny the Younger is only available in small quantities, and only a select few alehouses here in the Seattle area get a small keg of it, and it always sells out fast. Fortunately, being unemployed means I can make it to the odd hour pourings, and that’s exactly what I (and an unemployed friend) did when it went on tap at Naked City at 2:00 pm on February 15th. Keg ran out at 2:19 pm. This was my first time trying P the Y, and I must say it was an exceptional beer. I will definitely try and find another pouring (or two) before the season ends.

Pliny the Younger – 10.5% – Strong piney aroma. Great initial bubbliness and spiciness. Strong piney and hoppy flavors. Lovely malty undertones. Long finish — grapefruit citrus flavor that mixes well with a subtle caramel taste and slight alcohol edge. Awesome!

Also on tap as consolation beers were Naked City‘s “Cry me a River” and Big Time‘s “Whiny the Complainer.” So we tried those, as well…

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