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.
Berryessa Brewing Co.
Style: Pale Ale
Serving Style: kegs
Availability: Seasonal. Available in the fall in Sacramento, Davis and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area
Appearance: “Dark golden in color or maybe amber.”
Aroma: “Slightly fruity, but subtle.”
Taste: “This fresh-hopped beer has an underpinning of maltiness. It's crisp, hoppy but not overpowering. It's entirely pleasant.”
Food Affinity: “Something equally bright and zingy. Maybe spicy deviled eggs or curried meat balls grilled on a skewer.”
Reviewer Dan Clarke sips his beer in Sacramento