Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Deschutes King Cone Fresh Hop Ale

Deschutes has had a Fresh Hop beer -- King Cone Pale Ale -- on at the Portland pub for a few days. So it's not like I'm breaking new ground here, but I finally got my first taste of it today at lunch. Pretty good, a solid pale ale is the foundation for lots of resinous hoppy flavor. The green vegetal fresh-hop flavor that I require is detectable but a little overpowered by the general hoppiness.

I'd say it reminds me of the first batch of Full Sail Lupulin that John Harris brewed last year. In other words, very worthy, but not quite to the pinnacle. I can't help it, there's a specific thing that I'm seeking in these fresh hop beers, and I get very picky. Deschutes promises many more fresh hop ales in the coming weeks, and if past performance is any indication, some of them will be stellar. Hop Trip is always a favorite, and the fresh-hopped Mirror Pond they did last year was fabulous.

Gosh this is an early start to the season. Why is this happening, that the beer seasons get pushed earlier and earlier all the time? I shouldn't complain, fresh-hop time is something that I eagerly await each year. Now I don't have to pester my local pubs about it, they're beating me to the punch.

Mark your calendar, the Portland Fresh Hop festival put on by the OBG and Oregon Bounty is at Oaks Park this year, October 10! Another fun thing to do is help the Lucky Lab pick hop cones off the vine: Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 8). I had a blast last year.

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