Late summer and early autumn is a rare and special time of year here in the Pacific Northwest. As the daylight begins to noticeably diminish from the evening sky and the nights begin to cool, the harvest bounty presents itself as ripe for the picking. Throughout the world of beer this means a celebration that includes Oktoberfest and Märzens as well as several different types of Pumpkin brews. Here in Cascadia, we not only have access to these sort of beers, but one that is even more celebrated – Fresh Hops!
The female species of the humulus lupulus comes to fruition during the fall harvest and nowhere else in the world has a celebration of this beer spicing and balancing agent than they do in Hood River, Oregon at the annual Hops Fest. This year marks the 9th time that the scenic Columbia Gorge village at the foot of mighty Mt. Hood celebrates the essential hop and all its majesty. 2012 marks the biggest festival of fresh hop beers to ever take place anywhere on the planet with more than 50 wet hopped beers from nearly 40 Northwest breweries.
The window for enjoying these farm fresh special brews closes fast, so it is highly recommended that you jump on the opportunity while you can. Hop heads rejoice and don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy so many unique craft beers in one setting.
Here’s the full lineup of beers for this year’s Hood River Hops Fest with descriptions and details. Cheers!
Saturday September 29th Noon – 9pm
9th Annual Hood River Hops Fest
Downtown – Hood River, OR
The 9th annual Hood River Hops Fest will be the largest collection of Fresh Hop beers in one place in the world featuring more than 50 different wet hopped brews from more than 37 breweries. Hood River County Chamber of Commerce hosts this hoppy beer lover’s dream that showcases Oregon’s great bounty on Saturday September 29th in downtown Hood River, OR. Fresh hop beers are a scarce commodity native to the Pacific NW where Oregon and Washington are the center of hop farming for the entire world. Made from freshly picked hops before they have been kilned and dried for use throughout the year these “wet” hop beers have a fleeting sticky, resinous, grassy and fresh flavor that is unique to hops picked from the bine and used within hours of harvesting. It is no surprise that Hood River, OR is nestled in the gorge between the two hop growing states would host the largest celebration of fresh hop beers that the country has ever seen.
9th annual Hood River Hops Fest by the numbers:
121 Kegs that the Hood River Hops Fest will pour in just 9 hours
64 different beers being on tap
51 varieties of Fresh Hop beer will be poured at the 2012 Hood River Hops Fest
37 Breweries are taking part in the festival
8 Gorge area brewers are all participating (Big Horse, Double Mountain, Everybody’s Brewing, Full Sail, Logsdon, Pfriem, Solera and Walking Man)
7 Breweries are making a fresh hop beer for the first time (Gigantic, Pfriem, Block 15, Solera, Flat Tail, The Commons and Falling Sky Brewing)
In addition to craft beer you can find:
Local cuisine from woodfire pizza to American pub grub to vegetarian style dishes.
Unique arts and crafts vendors from around the Northwest including beer inspired soaps, unique jewelery and handmade pottery.
A selection of Gorge wines.
A Kids Zone with face painting and other child friendly activities.
And a day-long lineup of live music.
Held in a special street pavilion in the heart of downtown Hood River, admission includes commemorative stein, and tasting tokens are sold for a nominal price. The annual event attracts thousands and proceeds support the programs of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce.
Children are welcome throughout the afternoon until 6pm; The venue is open to adults only until closing at 9pm.
20 and under free until 5:30 p.m.
21 and over $6.00, which includes beer tasting stein
$4.00 for wine drinkers and designated drivers
Tokens are $1 each. 4 tokens = a full beer, or 1 token = a taste.
Brewery & Beer List
Double asterisks “**” denote that the beer is made with fresh hops.
Style: Fresh Hop Pale Fresh Hop:Amarillo 5.5%
Description: A light pale ale with an 80% Maris Otter and 20% Vienna malt base. 50lbs of Amarillo
hops, picked and trucked down ourselves from the Gamache farms in Yakima Wa. And stewed in the final minutes of the boil and whirlpool for a delightfully delicate fresh hop aroma and flavor.
The French Connection**
Style: Autumn Saison Fresh Hop: Tardif De Bourgogne 5%
Description: A light, golden, copper coloured, fall Saison brewed with Caramel Pilsner malts, an Heirloom French hop varietal derived from the Burgundy region of France and fermented using a Fench/Belgian yeast strain acquired from Upright Brewing.
Kiln ‘Em All**
Style: English-style Pale Ale Fresh Hop: Tettnanger 5.8%
Description: Strong Pale Ale with British Ale yeast
Big Horse Brewpub
Hood River, OR
Style: Imperial IPA Fresh Hops: Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra 8.5%
Description: Classic west coast style Imperial IPA. Brewed with everyone’s favorite “newschool” hops.
Style: Coffee Stout Oatmeal Stout 5.5%
Description: Creamy Oatmeal Stout brewed with english chocolate and roast malts. Cold steeped in 10 Speeds Columbia coffee.
Fresh Hop Citra Double IPA**
Style: Double IPA/Wheatwine Fresh Hop: Citra 8.5%
Description: Wheat Double IPA with fresh Citra hops
International Way IPA**
Style: American IPA Fresh Hop: Amarillo 6%
Description: American style moist hop Pale Ale. Moistened with a special proprietary technique that Ben learned from the team at Kinky Kabin Brewing Co.
Sterling Pub Draught**
Style: Pub Draught Fresh Hop: Sterling 4%
English-style pub draught beer brewed with 130lbs of fresh Sterling hops
Style: Kolsch 5.4%
Description: A Kolsch brewed with hand zested limes, Kaffir lime leaf and Lemongrass
The Most Interesting Beer In The World**
Style: FN Legit Fresh Hop Beer. Style: Cascade 5.5%
Description: The only beer Will Smith and Doug E. will drink. Stay hoppy my friends
Style: IPA 7.3%
Description: Cascade, Centennial, Crystal and Simcoe create a citrusy hop confluence that continuously embiggens with each drink.
Pfriem Family Brewers
Hood River, OR
Fresh Hop Belgian Blonde**
Style: Belgian Blonde. Hop Variety: Amarillo 6.5%
Description: A hybrid between a Belgian Blonde and a IPA made with fresh Amarillo hops.
Belgian Strong Dark
Style: Belgian Strong Dark. 10.25%
Description: Belgians say, “Op uw gezondheid’” when toasting, but you don’t have to speak Flemish to appreciate the bold, complex flavors of fig dipped in dark chocolate, ripe fruit and toffee in this immense Ale. Op uw gezondheid!
Bend & Portland, OR
Style: Pale Ale. Fresh Hop: Centennial 6.4%
Description: This Pale Ale features two different crystal malts which form the rich toasted caramel body. The aroma and hop flavor is 100% fresh from the vine, Centennial hops. 175lbs in all, these hops offer notes of citrus and pine. One sniff and you’re transported directly to the beauty of the Willamette valley during Hop Harvest.
Fresh Hop Bitter**
Style: English-style Bitter. Fresh Hop: Tettnanger 5%
Offers a deep copper color, rich malt body and classic English East Kent Golding hops. For this batch we finished the beer for 6 days on Tettnang hops fresh from the vines at Gayle Goschie’s hop farm in Silverton, OR.
Double Mountain Brewery
Hood River, OR
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Brewers Gold
Description: Classic strong IPA featuring dank, herbal fresh hoppiness.
Style: Red IPA. Fresh Hop: Perle
Description: A strong Red IPA loaded with fresh hop flavor.
Beer Valley Brewing
Leafer Fresh Hop**
Style: Double IPA. Fresh Hop: Chinook 9%
Description: Fresh hopped version of Leaver Madness, Double Pale Ale
Tri-State Fresh Hop Ale**
Style: Fresh Hop Ale. Fresh Hop: Chinook 5%
Description: All fresh hop beer brewed with fresh hops from ID, OR, WA
White Salmon, WA
Style: Pale Ale. Fresh Hop: Centennial 5.5%
Description: Hoppy, clean, fun and fresh
Country Boy IPA
Style: IPA 6.2%
Description: Grassy, grapefruit hop character with a light clean body.
Fort George Brewery
Style: Amber. Fresh Hop: ? 5.8%
Description: The Fort George Brewery was founded on the idea that many hands make light work. We extend this philosophy to the creation of our seasonal fresh hop beer. The call went out to all of the Fort George fans to bring in their hops that were growing on fences, barns, and houses. People from all over our county and even from Portland came and donated their hops for our Co-Hoperative Ale. We then spent a day picking them off the vines not knowing what some of the hops were. The next day we combined all of freshly picked hops into a delicious amber beer. It smells like teamwork and tastes like unity. Enjoy this light, crisp amber beer and take note of its harmonious spirit.
Fresh Hop Vortex IPA**
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial 7.4%
Description: We brewed our flagship IPA using nothing but fresh hops to give our fans the chance to taste the difference. Whether brewed with fresh hops or with hop pellets, we now know that the Vortex is always delicious.
Full Sail Brewing
Hood River & Portland, OR
Style: lager. Fresh Hop: Perle 5.7%
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Give Me Liberty**
Style: Best Bitter. Fresh Hop: Liberty 4.6%
Description: Session Bitter made with Liberty Hops
IPX – The Freshmaker**
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Cascade 6%
Description: Single Hop Cascade IPA
Fresh Hop Free Range Red**
Style: NW ESB. Fresh Hop: Cascade 6%
Description: This is a fresh hop version of our popular Free Range Red.
Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales
Hood River, OR
Fresh Hop Seizoen**
Style: saison. Fresh Hop: 12 different fresh hops 7.5%
Description: Belgian-style beer with locally grown Organic fresh hops
Style: farmhouse saison 8%
Description: Farmhouse saison with Brettanamyoces
Block 15 Brewing
Style: Pale Ale. Fresh Hop: Nuggets
Description: Pale ale brewed with floor malted barley and 100% organic fresh hop nuggets in the hop back.
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Estate Homegrown Ale**
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Chinook, Cascade 6.7%
Description: Slightly sweet honey-like malt contrasted by a strong hop presence with earthy green notes of pine, peppered spice and grapefruit like citrus.
Style: IPA. Style: Cascade, Centennial 6.7%
Description: Bold, earthy green hop flavors with hints of citrus, fresh herbs, and pine, balanced by a slightly sweet toasted malt body.
Schooner Exact Brewing
Amarillo Fresh Hop**
Style: NW IPA. Fresh Hop: Amarillo 6-7%
Smells Like Purple**
Style: Pale Ale. Fresh Hop: Meridian
Description: A Meridian fresh hopped Pale Ale
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Crystal 6.7%
Description: Our dedication to the hop harvest by brewing Total Domination using fresh hops. We brew the beer by adding hops as normal but instead of final hop addition the wort is run through 960lbs of fresh picked Crystal hops. Super hoppy, for super happy harvest!
Style: Pale Ale. Fresh Hop: Centennial 5%
Description: A golden colored Pale Ale made with wet Centennial Hops from Oregon’s Crosby Farms
Ask The Fish**
Style: American Red Ale. Fresh Hop: Chinook 6%
Description: Inspiration: Leftover Salmon. (Listen to Ask the Fish:Live, you won’t be dissapointed)
Pacific City, OR
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Sterling 5.8%
Description: Brewed only once a year at the peak of hop season, this beer was made with 450 pounds of freshly picked, “wet” Sterling hops from Goschie Farms in Silverton, Oregon. The hops were only 3 hours from the vine when they went into the kettle. The mash tun was also used as a hop back, holding 300 pounds of hops! This beer features an emphatically floral, spicy, grassy aroma with a firm malt background and an assertive, snappy hop finish. Produced using Oregon-grown barley malt, one hop variety sourced exclusively from Goschie Farms, one yeast strain from Wyeast Laboratories in Hood River and pure coastal water, this is truly an all-Oregon, elemental beer!
Style: English-style IPA. Fresh Hop: Sterling, Fuggle, Meridian 6%
Description: Silverspot IPA holds a permanent slot in the Pelican lineup with its brilliant gold color and assertively complex hop aroma. Brew Master Darron Welch selected the blend of Sterling, Fuggle and Meridian hops, focusing on herbal, floral, spicy and tangerine-like characters to create this highly drinkable
Style: Double IPA. Fresh Hop: Simcoe, Citra
Description: A medium bodied DIPA brewed with an absurd amount of fresh Simcoe hops in the kettle, hop back, fermenter and brite tank.
Style: fruit wheat 4%
Description: A light, tart wheat based ale aged on fresh local peaches.
Silver Moon Brewing
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Cascade 5.5%
Description: 100% Oregon grown Cascade Fresh Hops
Flat Tail Brewing
Style: Saison. Fresh Hop: Cascade 3.9%
Description: Petit Saison with cherries, fresh cascade hops, wild yarrow. Massive resiny nose from Agrarian Farms pigmy Cascades and fermented with Brett F. and Saison yeast.
Rough Cut IPA
Style: IPA 6.8%
Description: Crisp pale malt, Cascade and Zythos hops.
Widmer Brothers Brewing
Style: Common Ale. Fresh Hops: Mini Magnums, Columbia 4.7%
Description: An easy drinking Common Ale that used wet Mini Magnums for buttering and freshly kilned Columbia Hops for bittering.
The Commons Brewery
Fresh Hop Farmhouse**
Style: Farmhouse Ale. Fresh Hops: Meridian, Cascade 6%
Description: Tart golden farmhouse ale with meridian and cascade hops
New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, CO
Trip 14 Imperial Fresh Hop**
Style: IPA. Fresh Hops: Tardiffde de Bourgogne, Bullion 8.5%
Description: Imperial IPA brewed with the Gamache Family and Dick Cantwell (Elysian Brewing), featuring wet Tardif de Bourgogne and Bullion hops harvested the same day from the Gamache hop farm in Toppenish, WA. Also blood orange peel.
Style: NW Red 6%
Description: A cupful of sweet fig, tropical fruit, toffee, roasted nuts and hoppy bitterness. None of which overwhelm, they simply meet in the middle to attempt balance.
Falling Sky Brewing
So Fresh So Green**
Style: Lager. Fresh Hop: Centennial 5.8%
Description: 100% wet Centennial Lager, 172 lbs of hops from Goschie Farms
Whoa Dang Pale Ale**
Style: Pale Ale. Fresh Hops: Centennial, Nugget, Crystal ?
Description: All wet hops locally homegrown around Eugene. A blend of Centennial, Nugget, Crystal and others.
Walking Man Brewing
Cent’s & Censability**
Style: Fresh Hop Pale. Fresh Hop: Centennial 5.2%
An easy drinking pale made with over 160lbs of freshly picked Centennials from BC Hop Farms. Grassy and resiny hop flavors, with a fresh Centennial aroma.
Double Dry Hopped ISA
Style: India Session Ale. Fresh Hop: Glacier 5%
Description: Special for Hood River Hops Fest we dry hopped kegs of our Northern Alliance India Session Ale with whole Glacier leaf hops. This is a medium bodied session ale bursting with great hop flavor and aroma.
Rock Bottom Brewery
Style: Pale Ale. Fresh Hop: Centennial 6.3%
Description: Centennials fresh from the picker at BC Hop Farm in Woodburn give this Pale Ale an aroma replete in peonies.
Hale’s Ales Brewery
Fresh Hop IPA**
Style: Session IPA. Description: Amarillo 5.8%
Description: A “session” (lower abv) IPA with a simple malt profile to enable the showcasing of generous amounts of fresh hops.
Fresh Hop Supergoose**
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Amarillo 7.1%
Description: A fresh dry-hopped version of the popular Supergoose IPA with 2lbs of fresh Amarillo’s added to each keg.
Chatoe Rogue Wet Hop Ale**
Style: Fresh Hop Ale. Fresh Hops: Freedom 6%
Description: Brewed with 100% GYO certified Freedom Hops grown on the Rogue Farms Hopyard in Independence, OR. The hops are picked, bagged and immediately driven 77 miles to Newport for Brewmaster John Maier to pitch into the brew kettle.
Golden Valley Brewing
Crystal Fresh Hop**
Style: Pale Ale. Fresh Hop: Crystal 5.6%
10 Barrel Brewing
Crosby Fresh Hop**
Style: Strong Pale Ale. Fresh Hop: Centennial 5.5%
Description: Simple malt bill built to let the fresh Centennial hops from Crosby Hop Farm shine through. Bright lemon notes running along grapefruit notes are the highlights.
Style: Double IPA 9.25%
Come on…You don’t need another Double IPA description. Ingredients…Chinook + water + Simcoe + malt + Magnum. Brewed by Big Daddy Kelso
Cascade Lakes Brewing
Style: IPA. Fresh Hop: Santiam 5.8%
Description: Just a super perfect fresh hop beer
Thundercone Fresh Hop**
Style: Fresh Hop Ale. Fresh Hop: Cascade 6.19%
Description: Fresh (or wet) Cascade hops were frantically delivered straight from the hop fields to every McMenamins Brewery and each batch of “Thundercone Fresh Hop Ale” was brewed within hours of the hops being picked off of the vine. The resulting beer is an absolute fresh hop showcase. This beer starts with a smooth foundation and just a slight maltiness. The real star of this show is the fresh Cascade hops used for both flavoring and aroma. Five pounds of fresh Cascades per barrel were added in three different additions in every batch.
Style: Imperial Pilsner. Fresh Hop: Tettnanger 8%
Description: Hop Harvest is a Fresh Hop beer using Austrian Aurora hops in the kettle and 45lbs of green Oregon Tettnanger Hops in our hop jack.
TBA Fresh Hop**
This post was written by Angelo on September 17, 2012