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It's Fresh Hop Season

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TASTE News Service October 29, 2013 - Fall is a beautiful time of year and marks the harvest of many crops, hops being among them. Fresh hoped beers are trendy now, but Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon has been producing beers of this style for nearly a decade.

Taste California Travel recently tried a couple of Deschutes' offerings. Fall of 2013 marks the ninth appearance of their Hop Trip. Our informal tasting panel thought is smelled heaver than it tasted. While not showing the most robust aspects of wet (fresh) hopping, it was a solid performer and reminded one of our panelists of an English Pale Ale. Hop Trip uses freshly harvested Crystal hops from Oregon's Willamette Valley. (5.5% alcohol, 38 IBUs)

Chasin' Freshies, a reference to skiiers reveling in fresh powder, is a bigger beer. Its initial issue last year featured Cascade hops, but the brewer elected to go with Amarillo hops for the 2013 vintage. Chasin' Freshies showed more aroma and seemed a little more vegetal and more grassy. (7.2% alcohol, 65 IBUs)

Both beers are seasonal and available in bottles in 22 states.