This year we’ve noticed that there are two fresh hop lagers that have been released in Portland’s mainstream craft brewing scene. We couldn’t be happier. You might have noticed that this year BridgePort Brewing has released a lager version of their Hop Harvest beer that has previously been an ale. The beer is a bold 8% ABV “Pilsner” with a snappy new label.
Full Sail Brewing of Hood River, OR returns with their unmistakably refreshing Hopfenfrisch Pilsner-style lager. This might only be a small segment of the fresh hop brews that are of the bottom-fermented variety, but it’s a welcomed variation to the ale-heavy lineup of beers that seem to dominate the hoppy brewscape. The beer boasts Salmon-Safe hops from Sodbuster Farms in the Willamette Valley. Here’s more on Hopfenfrisch from the source:
Hood River, Or – Located in the heartland of hops, every year the Full Sail brewers wait with thirsty anticipation for hop harvest and the chance to celebrate by brewing fresh hop beers. When the hops are at their peak, the Full Sail brewers truck out to the hop fields to collect the aromatic bounty. These seasonal wonders will go from field to brew kettle within a matter of hours and the magic begins. This year, Full Sail celebrates the season’s first hops with Hopfenfrisch, a Pilsner style lager, showcasing the Perle hop variety. “This beer highlights the brewer’s art as well as nature’s gift,” said Full Sail Executive Brewmaster, Jamie Emmerson. The hops were locally grown at Sodbuster’s Hop Farm, which is a Salmon Safe certified hop grower.
“As brewers we are always reliant on nature’s bounty, from the quality of the barley harvest to how the hops weathered through the Oregon summer. But no moment brings this relationship to sharper focus than our fresh hop beers. When we brew with fresh hops, timing is everything,” added Emmerson. “There’s such a small window of time to take advantage of these fresh hops. We need to get them into the brew kettle within hours of picking while their oils and resins are still at their peak. It takes five to seven times more hops to brew a fresh hop beer, but it’s absolutely worth it. There are distinct flavors and aromas that you can only get brewing with fresh hops.”
According to Emmerson, each hop variety reaches peak maturity at a different time during harvest. “For this year’s fresh hop Hopfenfrisch Pilsner, we used fresh harvested Perle, a close cousin to the Northern Brewer hop, which give the beer a strong herbal character with classic pils hop aromas. Fermented with our lager yeast, these flavors make for a classic pilsner beer which give the beer a pleasant hop character. This pale gold aromatic brew was left unfiltered to preserve its smooth body and honeyed malt flavors. This beer is crisp and clean.”
Full Sail’s Fresh Hop beers are a veritable hop lover’s delight. The tiny lupulin glands inside the hop flowers, packed with sticky resins and essential oils, provide all that wonderful bitterness, flavor and aroma. These beers are all about hops; wet hopped, kettle hopped, hop back hopped, and dry hopped in the fermenter with 150 pounds of hops per batch. That’s 7.5 pounds of hops per barrel! Most products this fresh last only a short time. Please enjoy while you can.
Full Sail’s Hopfenfrisch is part of Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series. It will be available in limited quantities September to November on draught in pubs throughout the Pacific Northwest and at Full Sail’s Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River and at their Riverplace brewery in Portland, Oregon. They will also be available at various fresh hop beer festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest including the Hood River Hops Festival (Sept 29th), the Yakima Fresh Hop Festival & Oaks Park Fresh Hop Festival in Portland, Oregon (Oct 6th) and at Fresh Hop Festival in Eugene (Sept 29th). It will also be served Saturday October 13th at the Great American Beer Festival at the Oregon Brewer’s Guild booth in the Support Your Local Brewer’s pavilion.
About Full Sail Brewing Company:
The independent and employee-owned Full Sail Brewery is perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the most epic wind and kite surfing spot in the world. At this very moment our specialists in the liquid refreshment arts are crafting barley and hops into your next beer. Among the company’s most popular brews are Full Sail Amber, IPA, Pale, LTD, Wassail, Session Premium, Session Black, and Session Fest lager. Founded in 1987, the Full Sail crew has been fermenting godlike nectar for 25 years. Committed to brewing great beer and sustainable practices their award winning brews are now available in 29 states. The Full Sail Tasting Room and Pub is open seven days a week. Swing by for a pint, grab a bite, tour the brewery, or just soak up the view. Visit us online at http://www.fullsailbrewing.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
Founded by Pacific Rivers Council, Salmon-Safe is one of the nation’s leading regional eco labels with more than 80,000 acres of farm and urban lands certified in Oregon, Washington, California, and British Columbia. Salmon-Safe works across the West Coast through a Partner Network of place-based conservation organizations as well as collaborating certification organizations. Salmon-Safe began working with Oregon hop growers after a decade-long focus on transitioning vineyards to Salmon-Safe practices that has resulted in the certification of more than 250 vineyards, including nearly half of the Willamette Valley’s wine grape acreage. For hops growers, Salmon-Safe certification requires phasing out harmful pesticides, minimizing erosion and runoff, restoring streams, and promoting wildlife habitat.