“Wet hop” or “fresh hop” beers may be the truest form of seasonal beer. Very few styles of beer require certain seasonal conditions to be produced. However, harvest season provides an avenue for brewers to create something that is only available this time of year. The process of “wet hopping” or “fresh hopping” beers means that the hops that are added to the brew in various stages of the brewing have been picked very recently (usually within 48 hours of picking). Fresh hop beers have unique flavors that are not imparted by traditional dried hops.
Here are a few examples of some awesome fresh hop beers available at West Vail Liquor Mart:
Lagunitas – Born Yesterday is a fresh hop “pale ale” that is unfiltered and benefits from generous additions of wet hops. It has a bunch of tropical flavors and is my personal favorite beer from Lagunitas. Don’t mistake this one for a “hazy IPA”. It is true to west coast form and has plenty of bitterness to compliment the tropical vibe.
Fremont – Head Full of Fresh Hop is only going to be available for a limited time in single 16oz cans. It is a heavily fresh hopped version of “Head Full of Dynamite”, Fremont brewing’s ever evolving IPA series. I thought this beer was very impactful and a full spin on the series.
Sierra Nevada – Celebration is perhaps the most well known fresh hop ale. Always available around the holidays, “Celebration” is an all timer for me and one I always pick up every year. It almost tastes like a combination of hops and a pine tree. It is a unique brew that has stood the test of time.
Please do yourself a favor and come by the store and grab yourself some fresh hop beers. They are only around for a short time and are a great treat for all hopheads.
Dean LoRusso, Beer Buyer, West Vail Liquor Mart