2010 Fresh Hop Tastivals Schedule Announced
Fall is coming to the Pacific Northwest and that means the return of fresh hop beers and the Oregon Brewer’s Guild (OBG) fresh hop Tastivals. Four Tastivals – similar to traditional outdoor beer festivals – are scheduled across the state in September and October as part of the Oregon Bounty culinary tourism program. Each Tastival will feature original limited release fresh hop beers produced by OBG members. Fresh hop beers are only produced during the small window of Oregon’s hop harvest, which typically takes place in late August and early September. These once-a-year beers are ready for consumption in October and are packed with unique flavors that simply aren’t available the rest of the year.
Oregon is home to nearly 80 brewing companies, and more than 50 fresh hop beers will be made during the fall hop harvest. “We are lucky to have so many breweries within minutes of the hop fields that supply the US craft beer industry with aroma and flavor hops,” explains Brian Butenschoen, Executive Director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “The goal of the Tastivals is to gather these limited beers in one location for consumers to try and enjoy – in many instances, this is the only time for consumers to try so many fresh hop beers at the same time.”
Fresh hop beers are growing in popularity across the nation, but Oregon’s abundance of hop vineyards and status as the second largest hop-growing region in the United States gives the state a distinct advantage in fresh hop beer production. Fresh hops are extremely fragile and need to be dried or used within 24 hours, ideal for Oregon, where nearly 100 of the state’s breweries are within 150 miles of a hop field. Fresh hops are picked straight off the vine, then bypass the hop kiln and are shipped directly to the brewery to be immediately added to the brew kettle.
Fresh hop Tastivals will be held across the state every Saturday from September 25, 2010 through October 16, 2010. Tastival hours are Noon to 9 p.m. at all events and admission is free of charge. Souvenir tasting glasses are required to sample beers and are available for $5. Individual beer samples are $1 each. Food will also be available for purchase. Tastival dates and locations include:
• September 25 – Village Green Park, Sisters, OR
• October 2 – at the Hood River Hops Fest, located between 5th St. and 7th St. and Cascade and Columbia in downtown Hood River, OR
• October 9 – Oaks Park, located at 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR
• October 16 – Eugene, OR. Exact location TBD.
For more information or to view video of last year’s Tastivals, please visit http://oregonbeer.org/fhbt2010/