Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fresh Hop Rankings 2013

Each year I sort the fresh hop beers I've tried into 4 tiers:  1. those that are very special, brilliant examples of why we love this time of year; 2. those that capture the green fresh hop flavor nicely but are not quite as exciting as the first group; 3. beers that don't really show fresh hop character, but are tasty nonetheless; and 4. beers to avoid for one reason or another.

Within the tiers, I try to rank them approximately in order of how well I liked the beer, though with so many -- 44 so far -- I might switch the order of any two or three beers on any given day.  That also means that I might actually like some of the top beers in tier 3 better than the bottom beers in tier 2.  I would have liked to put 12 beers in the Must Try category, but that seemed ridiculous, so I chopped it at 5.  Of course it's just one man's opinion, and your mileage may vary.  For reference, here's last year's list.

About half the beers on the list are ones I tasted at the Hood River Hops Fest this past Saturday.  Don't forget, the Portland Fresh Hops Festival is at Oaks Park this Friday and Saturday, October 4th and 5th, 2013.  Enjoy!


Must Try:

  • Deschutes Fresh-Hopped Mirror Pond
  • Laurelwood Fresh-Hopped Free Range Red
  • Gigantic F'n Legit Fresh Hop
  • Solera Chubby Bunny
  • Double Mountain Killer Green

Good Fresh Hop Flavor:
  • Ninkasi Total Crystallation
  • Oakshire Bout a Hunerd
  • Barley Brown's Fresh Hop Pallet Jack
  • Deschutes Hop Trip
  • Burnside Prime Meridian
  • Big Horse Strictly Rude #6
  • Breakside If It's Wet and Not Yours, Don't Touch It
  • Bridgeport Hop Harvest
  • Double Mountain Killer Red
  • Hopworks Powell Estate Fresh Hop
  • Lucky Labrador The Mutt
  • Deschutes Fresh Hop Crystal Cream Ale
  • Widmer Bring The Broom
  • Worthy Fresh Hop Session
  • Laurelwood Shane's Pale
  • Coalition Green Pig
  • Ninkasi Hop Fraiche
  • Deschutes Fresh Hop Pine Drops
  • Social Kitchen Wet Hop American Summer
  • McMenamin's Thundercone
  • Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest
  • Commons Fresh Hop Myrtle
  • Stickmen Fresh Hop Cascade SMaSH
  • Old Town Brewing Cents and Centsability Fresh Hop Pale 
  • Base Camp Hopularity Contest
  • Humble Brewing Larch Creek Harvest Ale
  • Deschutes Chasin' Freshies
  • Vertigo Hop Harvest IPA

Good Beer, Can't Taste the Fresh Hops:
  • Rogue Wet Hop Ale
  • PINTS Seismic Upgrade
  • Lucky Labrador Fresh Hop Pilsner
  • Three Creeks Cone Lick'r
  • Upright Hop and the Abstract Truth
  • Sierra Nevada DevESTATEtion Black IPA
  • Elysian Kama Citra
  • Full Sail Fresh Hop Pilsner
  • Deschutes King Cone
  • Pfriem Fresh Hop Mosaic Belgian Wheat
  • Portland Brewing Fresh Hop Mactarnahan's
  • Burnside Fresh Hop Oatmeal Pale Ale
  • Alameda Cascadia Fresh Hop Pale
  • Deschutes Fresh Hop Bitter
  • Backwoods Fresh Hop Logyard IPA
  • Logsdon Fresh Hop Seizoen
  • Good Life A Different Season
  • Sasquatch Celilo CDA
  • Two Kilts Fresh Hop IPA
  • Old Town Brewing Fresh Hop Oktoberfest
  • Deschutes Fresh Hop Saison

Avoid:
  • 10 Barrel Goodin' Fresh -- diacetyl at Hood River
  • Migration Wild Style -- too wild, and couldn't find the fresh hops

4 comments:

  1. I wasn't as fond of the Laurelwood when I tried it a couple weeks ago. Perhaps I was missing something.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting. I thought the Killer Red was superior to the Killer Green this year, which was definitely a first. The HUB Fuggle single-hop is pretty freakin' amazing, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never "got" Killer Green, I always thought it was hoppy but not fresh. When Killer Red came out, it blew me away with freshness and flavor. But this year somehow they switched places for me.

      Was HUB Fuggin' A at Hood River? I must have missed it. I'm a little embarrassed at what I *haven't* tried yet: couple HUBs, Burnside, Alameda, Lompoc...

      Delete
  3. Late commenting on this, but GoodLife's "A Different Season"... wasn't. They had the best intentions but weren't able to fit it into their schedule, but it had already been entered into the various fests (they registered before it was brewed). It was in fact simply their Descender IPA.

    ReplyDelete

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