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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fresh Hop Beers 2013, the Big List

Last updated: Sunday, 9/29, 3pm

It is that time again, when round trips to the fields result in delicate ales glowing green with the flavors and aromas of live hops.  It is that month of the year when hopheads wander the streets besotted with flavors that can only come from undried hops, the fresher the better.  In the past, we've had Bill Night to keep us up to date as these beery fireflies glow for a moment and then vanish--but like so many before him, Bill has slowly stopped blogging.

I can't possibly hope to keep up, but I will post the beers I hear of--and you can help by hop-spotting for me.  Did you see (or brew) a fresh hop ale?  Tell me the brewery, the beer name, and the hops, and I'll add it to the list (extra points for including the source farm).  Some breweries have begun bottling fresh hop beers, but Oregonians know better.  You can't capture that essence.  These beers are made for draft, and they last no longer than a blooming flower.  Their freshness dates are a matter of days, not weeks, so get 'em while you can.

Because hops don't grow everywhere, certain breweries have taken to eliding whether their beers are made with undried, wet hops straight from the field, or the season's first, freshly-dried hops.  That latter category already has a name: beer.  It is a cheat and the beer should never be called "fresh hop."  The beer must have been made with undried hops, full stop.  Breweries have learned that it helps to use a dose of regular dried hops for bitterness at the start of the boil, with the fresh hops coming in later to add their own sensory phantasmagoria.  That's cool--and even advised.  I have found that this technique actually allows the fresh hops to exhibit more of their character.  But no undried hops = no fresh hop beer.

The List

Note: it turns out tracking whether or not the beers are still available is a fool's errand, so just keep your eyes peeled.  Stats, for those scoring at home: two cideries, 51 breweries; two ciders and 91 beers

10 Barrel
Goodin' Fresh, Chinook (Gooding--Idaho)

Fresh Cent'd, Centennials

Mother Plucker, Amarillo

Fresh Hop Cider, Cascade

Barley Brown's
Fresh Hop Pallet Jack, with wild, Mosaic, Citra, Cascade hops
Fresh Rye'd, Wild

Base Camp
Golden Hopportunity, Centennial 
Double In-Tents, Centennial and Meridian
Hopoularity Contest, Cascade and Liberty

Beer Valley
Leafer Madness, Chinook
Many Farms Pale, hops from OR, WA, and ID

Big Horse
Sticky Green, Mosaic and Simcoe
Black Eyed PA, Centennial and Simcoe

If It's Wet and Not Yours, Don't Touch It, Citra
Barrel-aged Wet Hop IPA, Citra

Brewer's Union Local 180
Little Green Man Pale, brewer-harvested Willamette 

Hop Harvest, Fuggle and Tettnang (Annen Farms)  

Prime Meridian, Meridian
Freshy Oatmeal Pale Ale, Crystal

Cascade Lakes
First Street Fresh Hop, Sterling 
Fresh Hop IPA, Liberty

Green Pig, Cascade (Crosby)   
Simply Dank, Centennial (Crosby)  

The Commons
Fresh Hop Myrtle, Meridian (Goschie Farms)

Crux Fermentation Project
Cruxtennial Belgian Pale Ale, Centennial
Off the Fence, with hops grown on the brewery property 
Crystal Zwickel, Crystal 

Deschutes Bend
Cinder Cone Red, Tettnang
Hop Trip, Crystals
Crystal Cream Ale, Crystal (Weathers Farm)
Chasin' Freshies, Amarillo
Fresh Hop Pine Drops, Centennial and Amarillo
Crystal Pale, Crystal (Goschie)

Deschutes Portland
Oktoberfest, Willamette hops 
Bitter, Tettnang 
King Cone, Centennial and Cascade 
Mirror Pond, Cascade 
Saison, Meridian 

Double Mountain
Killer Green, Brewers Gold (Sodbuster)
Killer Red, Perle (Sodbuster) 
Killer Brass, Mt Hood (Sodbuster)

Falling Sky
So Fresh So Clean lager, Centennials (Goschie)
Nuggets of Wisdom, ?

Fort George
Fresh Hop Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale, Centennials 
Fresh Hop Vortex, Simcoes 
Hopstoria, Citra 
Co-Hoperative, community-contributed hops 

Full Sail
Pilsner, Cascades (Sodbuster)

Sodbusted Simcoe, Simcoe (Sodbuster farms)

Fresh Prince of Ales, unknown 

Golden Valley
St. Paul Fresh Hop, Cascades 

A different Season, with community-contributed hops

Fresh Hop Meridian Pale, Meridian

Bitchin' Camaro,  Crystals (Goschie Farms)
Fuggin' A, Fuggles (Leavy Farms) 
Powell Estate IPA, Willamette and Cascades from the brewery's bines 

Hop Valley
Citra Self Down, Citra

Humble Brewing
Larch Creek Harvest Ale, multiple hand-picked varieties (Larch Creek Farms)

Workhorse IPA, Centennial
Fresh Hop Pale (Pale Project 21), Cascades (Crosby Farms) and Willamette (Goschie)
Free-Range Red, Cascade 

Fresh Hop Seizoen, 40+ varieties 62

Harvestman Red, Crystal

Lucky Lab
The Mutt (all different varieties of hops)

Thundercone, Cascade (Sodbuster)  

Glisan Street Fresh Hop, Meridian 
Wild Style, Crystal
Better Off Fresh IPA, Crystal

Total Crystalization, Crystal (Sodbuster) 
Hop Fraiche, Sterling (Goschie)  

'Bout-a-Hunerd, Centennial 

Old Town Brewing
Freshtoberbrau Fresh-Hop, Cascade
Cents and Sensibility, Centennial

Elemental Ale, Sterling (Goschie) 

Fresh Hop Mosaic Belgian Wheat, Mosaic 

Seismic Upgrade Imperial IPA, Centennials
Oktoberfresh, Crystal 
Crystal Lite Lager, Crystal 

Reverend Nat's
Fresh Hop Hopricot 
Unknown beer (using their own hops? 
Sasquatch Brewing
Oregon Session Ale, Willamette and Cascade
Drop It Like It's Hop'd, Centennial

Silver Moon
Hoppopotamus, Cascade

SoleraChubby Bunny, Simcoe and Citra

Single Malt – Single Hop (SMaSH), Cascade (Crosby) 

Three Creeks
Cone Lick'r Fresh Hop Pale, Golding (Sodbuster) 
Hop Wrangler Fresh Hop Red, Nugget (Sodbuster) 

The Hop and the Abstract Truth, Golding
Fresh Hop IPA, Centennials (Crosby Farms) 

Widmer Brothers
Dark and Dank Fresh Hop Lager, Santiam and Goldings 
Bring the Boom Fresh Hop IPL, Citra 
Worthy Brewing
Session IPA, Meridian


  1. Vasili told me there will likely be more fresh hop beers at Laurelwood, including a Fresh Hop Workhorse possibly brewed with different hops that the initial one. I suspect another Fresh Hop Pale, as well, but everything depends on what fresh hops they can put their mitts on. Lompoc's fresh hop beers are yet to be brewed...possibly today or tomorrow.

  2. There are the various McMenamins breweries with their Thundercone coming out on Friday the 13th. (Cascade, Sodbuster Farms)

    Deschutes in Bend has Fresh Hop Cinder Cone Red on right now. Hop Trip is being brewed with Crystal from (I believe) Goschie Farms, and Chasin' Freshies and a bunch of others will be coming out of Bend again this year.

    Crux Fermentation Project posted on Facebook on the 5th that Cruxtennial Fresh Hop Belgian Pale Ale was on tap.

    Worthy (Bend) has a Meridian ale in the works, GoodLife took a page from the Lucky Lab and solicited community hops. Silver Moon is brewing up Hoppopotamus, 10 Barrel had fresh hops in the house.

    Lots more I've seen on Facebook, I'll go back through my posts and list them...

  3. Vertigo did a Fresh Hop IPA, called Vertigo Fresh Hop IPA :) Brewed with Centennials from Crosby Farm. Tapping tomorrow in the taproom. Will have at the Hood River Fresh Hop Festival as well.

  4. Brewers Union, "Little Green Men", Pale, ABV 5.5%, Willamette Hops from my front porch. Just rolled on cask 3 of 8.

  5. Driftwood Beer, "Sartori Harvest IPA", IPA, ABV 7%, "Brewed with fresh Centennial hops from BC’s own Sartori Cedar Ranch" from Victoria BC Canada.

    Last year there was a smaller hops crop that ignited a frenzy of hop-heads driving around Vancouver & Victoria looking for bottles or casks. I only got 1 pint! My recollection is that it wasn't quite as good as 2011.

  6. Base Camp currently has three fresh hop beers in the fermenters ...

    (1) Golden Hopportunity Belgian IPA, 10.1% ABV, Centennial [A]

    Next two based on discussion at brewer Tues 9/10:

    (2) Double In-Tents(?), ~8-9% ABV, unknown fresh hop variety [F]
    (3) Pale Fresh Hop, details unknown [F]

  7. Stickmen Brewery has just released its fresh hop beer Cascade SMaSH - Fresh Hop Pale Ale.

    A Single Malt – Single Hop (SMaSH) beer using only Maris Otter malt and fresh Cascade hops from our friends at Crosby Hop Farm in Woodburn. This beer has a beautiful orange blossom aroma and flavor from the Cascades. Pouring now at the brewpub in Lake Oswego, at the B.I.N.G. event at Crosby Hop Farm tonight, and at the Portland Fresh Hop fest in October.
    5.8% ABV, 34 IBUs

  8. Jeff,
    Three Creeks is releasing both our fresh hop beers on Friday:
    Cone Lick'r Fresh Hop Pale- Golding (Sodbuster)
    Hop Wrangler Fresh Hop Red - Nugget (Sodbuster)

    Cone Lick'r will be in bottles as well but a scant 60 cases will make it to the valley. Don't forget about the Sisters Fresh Hop Fest on Saturday Sept 28!

  9. Upright had a fresh hop Saison on yesterday afternoon.

  10. On a roll - 5 fresh hop beers in 5 days in Portland starting on 9/12 - RockBottom, McMenamins, Rogue, Pints and Deschutes. Deschutes was out of King Cone but had the fresh hop Octoberfest on tap as of 9/16. Was told that Amnesia and Migration each have fresh hop beers due out soon, Pints Seismic Upgrade fresh hop was a great one!

  11. There might be some in here that you don't have yet - let me know if you want me to see about hop varieties for any you need...

  12. Boy this gets complicated, I see now on the German Beer Institute site the discussion on the history o Marzen/Oktoberfest and it does state that later in the 1800's, the fest beer in Munich became darker in an attempt to "re-Bavarianize". However, before that, it states the beer was in the Vienna-style, which was lighter in colour than the regular Munich lager (dunkel, I would think). So net net, I'd think the beer stayed medium amber in Vienna until at some point in the 1900's it became (there) blonde and quite similar to Pilsner and blond Helles. In Munich for the fests, clearly it changed colour a few times and it is now quite pale - perhaps too different brewers present at Oktoberfest at different times offered different shades on the beer. The GBI does state the important thing though IMO, that Vienna was really just a type of bottom-fermenting, long boiled, not strongly hopped beer. So that is why today if you take a blondish Vienna and compare it to a Dortmunder (or what is left, sadly, of the style), they look pretty similar. (But that is, IMO, kind of a backward logic to say a Dortmunder is a beer for Oktoberfest, I agree certainly there).


  13. Jeff,

    Bridgeport's status is far from unknown. It's actually in stores right now. Double Pilsner with Tettnang Hops.

  14. Jeff,

    I had posted the above note about Marzen-Oktoberfest a few days ago on the thread about Dortmund beer being, or not, a fest beer. I had noticed it never got in there, but somehow has popped up here! So it wasn't meant for the wet hop discussion. However good to see this inventory of wet hop beers and the style surely is here to stay, with justice as many beers made in this fashion are excellent and very tasty. I'd like to think all beer originally was made that way, i.e., before people got the notion to store hops.


  15. Burnside has Prime Meridian as of at least 9/20 - with fresh (you guessed it) Meridian hops.

  16. Gary,

    Ah, the Google gremlins. If I could put it in the right thread, I would.

  17. Golden Valley made two, one with Centennials, one with Crystal. None with Cascades.

  18. Base Camp has released its last two (of three) fresh hop ales...

    2. In-2-Tents Double Wet Hop Imperial IPL, Centennial & Meridian [A]
    3. Hopularity Contest Oatmeal Pale Ale, Cascade & Liberty [A]