So back to Deschutes' 2014 bottled fresh hop offerings. Did they manage to bottle the flavor? Must I revise the theory? Our findings are inconclusive: Chasin' Freshies (22 oz bottle) was superlative. Fully alive and green and fresh-hoppy. Hop trip (12 oz bottle) was a dud--very little hop character at all, and therefore a sweetly malty soup with no zip. My advice: if you want the experience of fresh hop, get on down to your favorite grocer, buy a 22 of Chasin' Freshies and drink it tonight. You might even risk waiting until tomorrow, as you hand out chocolate to small fiends. I wouldn't wait longer than that. Skip the Hop Trip.
The Neomexicanus Hops Are In
Stan Hieronymus has an update on some monk-grown native hops that will soon be available to the home beermaker. Step lively if you want to get in on the action.
In Lieu of Hops
Finally, let me direct your attention to my latest post over at All About Beer. Today's offering involves Eric Steen's project Beers Made By Walking, wherein Eric and brewers go on a hike and forage ingredients to use in a beer, along with my consideration of which of those ingredients seem like candidates for regular use. It starts:
Artemisia douglasiana, also known as California mugwort, grows along stream banks up and down the West Coast. Dried and—particularly—burned, it has a distinctive aroma similar to another plant famous in the region, Cannabis sativa. Perhaps for this reason, it creates a pungent, hop-like quality when added to the conditioning tank of a light ale. The flavor is anything but subtle; it is sticky and musky and surprisingly bitter, reminiscent of some of the more exotic modern hops in vogue. I discovered it in a gluten-free beer by Portland’s Ground Breaker Brewing, the result of a project called Beers Made By Walking in which brewers go out and forage for local ingredients they later use in a beer.Go read the whole thing. (Please!)