From Field House Brewing in Abbotsford comes their “Fresh Hop Sartori Sour IPA”. This weird and wonderful brew pours a weird brownish copper colour with a tan head. The aroma consists of floral and herbal hops with some sweetness and a definite sour note. The flavour is of sourness, toffee, sweetness with grassy, herbal hops with earth and a medium bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 6% with an IBU of 30. This beer is more sour ale than IPA for sure but it is a fun brew and I am glad that I got the chance to try it this year. I hope you do too!
Commercial Description: Our hands harvested these columbia hop cones straight from the Sartori Hop Ranch in the beautiful Columbia Valley. These fresh hops met our sour red IPA, infusing this once-a-year brew with fresh green earthy flavours. Herbal notes meet fruity melon and tangy citrus, all nestled in a tart IPA.
Well it is that time of year again! Driftwood Brewing out of Victoria BC has brought us their 2017 version of their wet hopped “Sartori Harvest IPA”. In traditional fashion I could not find this beer in Vancouver but I did find it while in Kelowna. The beer poured a fruity tropical notes with floral and herbal middle and some pine at the end. The flavour is of mild resin and bitterness, herbal notes, mild hint of malts with mild tropical fruits and a pine finish. The alcohol content comes in at 7%. I was happy to finally really enjoy a bottle of this as the last few years it didn’t do it for me. I hope next years batch is as good or better than this version.
Commercial Description: This wet-hopped IPA can only be brewed once a year when, in the midst of the hop harvest, fresh Centennial hops are spirited from Sartori Cedar Ranch near Chilliwack to our Brew Kettle in Victoria. Sartori’s fresh hops have a delicious profile unique to the patch of land they cultivate in the Columbia Valley making this limited release singular and remarkable.
From Pitt Meadow’s, BC’s Foamer’s Folly Brewing Company comes their Red Barn Fresh Hopped IPA (growler fill).
Red Barn pours a deep copper with little carbonation showing. The head is off white and thick, though it dissipates quickly.
The nose is full of astringent hay notes and grassiness. The malt underneath adds a nice, balancing caramel sweetness to the aromas and it plays nicely with the grapefruit hop notes at the end of the nose.
Surprisingly malty for an IPA the hops are still foremost on the tongue. An herbaceous bitterness leads over top of a caramel backbone from the malt. The bitterness holds for a long time on the finish while grassy notes come out around the middle of the sip. The finish is a bit boozy with good alcohol warmth.
Overall the fresh hop notes are well displayed without sacrificing balance and drinkability.
From Strange Fellows Brewing in Vancouver comes their “HOPDEVIL (a.k.a. Cowichan Valley Bine)” Fresh Hopped Pale Ale a beer using fresh hops from Maple Bay Hop Company. The beer pours a golden colour with a white head. The aroma consists of herbal hops with mild malts and citrus. The flavour is of grassy and herbal hops, citrus, grapefruit, mild stone fruit, biscuit malts and some bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 4.5%. This is the first fresh hop I have tried from Iain Hill the brewmaster and it was in line with all of his beers. Very well made and full of flavour!
Commercial Description: The Hopdevil – that incarnate of the late summer storm capable of destroying hop fields before harvest – is feted each year by the farmers of Hoppeland, Belgium. After harvest, they parade & then burn effigies of the Hopdevil with the hope that he will be discouraged from returning. Of the opinion that a little superstition goes a long way, we raise a glass of HOPDEVIL – our fresh hop beer – to the prolonged absence of the Hopdevil in our local hop-growing regions. Brewed with Fresh Cascade hops from Maple Bay Hop Company this beer showcases the cones, using malt character only as a balance to the earthy & fruity hopiness. Flavours of honeydew melon & citrus escort this extremely session-able fresh hop beer.
Food pairing as per brewery: light savoury foods, spicy dishes
From Bomber Brewing in East Vancouver comes their “Fresh Hop East Van SMaSH (Simco)” the latest India Session Ale in their Single Malt and Single Hop series of beers. The beer pours a light straw colour with a white head. The aroma consists of stone fruit, passion fruit, sweetness, mild malts, floral and grassy hops. The flavour is of and a very mild bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 4.5% with an IBU of 30ish according to the brewery. This might be one of the better vehicles for fresh hops in the beer world. The beer is not expected to be a huge hop bomb when it is an India Session Ale and works quite well. Its my third fresh hop beer of the year and my favorite so far.
Commercial Description: Pine and resin aromas might make you think we harvested these Simcoe hops from a forest. But they were cut down in Toppenish, Wa, and then hurried across the Cascade Mountains to get their fresh flavours into our kettle. Take a sip and note the sophistication that British Golden Promise malt provides as a counterpart in our refreshing single malt and single hops session ale.