Fresh Hopped Beers Are Here - but not for long.
Hops are grown throughout BC and every September comes harvest time. Resembling both a flower and a cone they are traditionally dried and then kept frozen until they are brewed with. If you act fast, when hops are freshly harvested they can be brewed with right away for a unique and very flavourful beer.
Fresh hops give an earthy-grassy flavour to the beer and BC craft beer drinkers flock to the seasonal releases each fall. This year there will likely be dozens of options on the shelves varying from Blonde Ales to IPAs. Here are three favourites from years' past that are definetly worth giving a try!
Driftwood Brewery - Sartori Harvest Fresh Hopped IPA
This is the beer that started it all. The Sartori Harvest is the most saught after fresh hop beer in BC. Driftwood has been using hops grown on the Sartori Hop farm for years and this beer's reputation precedes it. While some call it overrated, it is none-the-less a delicious beer and a prime example of fresh hop flavour. Don't be suprised if there is a purchase limit for the Sartori Harvest at your local liquor store.
Hoyne Brewing - Wolf Vine Fresh Hopped Pale Ale
Another beer that has built a reputation year after year is Hoyne's Wolf Vine. As a maltier beer this Pale Ale has more balance than many fresh hop beers. The toasted malt character balances the fresh hop flavour kick. The Wolf Vine is another delicious fresh hopped BC brew.
Dageraad Brewing - Wet Hopped Blonde Ale
Another way of describing a fresh hop beer is by calling it a wet hop beer as the hops have not been dried. On the lighter end of fresh hop spectrum is the Dageraad Brewing Wet Hopped Blonde Ale. This beer is much lighter in flavour and with that they can use less hops to get the fresh hop flavour through. Being less of a hop bomb than many fresh hop beers this is a light and sessionable beer that has a mellow, grassy flavour infusion inside a smooth Belgian Styled ale.
BC Craft Beer – Beer Me BC
Fresh hopped beers come and go each year. It is important not to cellar or store these beers for long. The fresh hop flavour deteriorates very quickly and while the beer does not go bad, the unique flavour dissipates. If you purchase fresh hop beer keep it cool and consume within a month for the best flavour experience.
There are a ton of amazing beers released every week in British Columbia. These three are best in class and are worth seeking out on the vast shelves of local craft retailers. Pick them up today if you want to try them before it is too late. To keep up to date on all the latest in BC craft beer visit beermebc.com