Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Last Fresh Hop Post of 2009

You must be completely bored by now with all the fresh-hop talk on It's Pub Night. One last gasp from me: I'll list the ones I've tried this season, in roughly the order that I'd recommend them to you as examples of fine fresh-hop flavor. Some of the ones far down the list are still nice beers, just not as remarkable for fresh-hop-ness.
  1. Deschutes Fresh-hopped Mirror Pond
  2. Full Sail Lupulin (Crystal)
  3. Laurelwood Hop Bale Pale
  4. Walking Man Fresh Hop IPA
  5. Bridgeport Hop Harvest
  6. Three Creeks Santiam Hop Harvest
  7. Full Sail Lupulin (Cascade)
  8. Widmer Hopturnal Emission
  9. New Old Lompoc Crystal Wheat
  10. Lucky Lab The Mutt
  11. Barley Brown's Roadside Fresh Hop
  12. Upright Fresh Hop of Belair
  13. Double Mountain Killer Green
  14. Standing Stone Wet-Hop Amber
  15. Deschutes Fresh-hopped Hop Henge
  16. Hopworks Bike Beer
  17. Silver Moon Hoppopotamus
  18. Oakshire Harvest Ale
  19. New Old Lompoc Crystal Missile
  20. Vertigo Midnight Harvest
  21. Lucky Lab Das Moot Pilsner
  22. Deschutes Hop Trip
  23. Pelican Elemental Ale
  24. Laurelwood Fresh Hop Organic Goodness
  25. Astoria Hoptimus Prime 2.0
  26. New Old Lompoc Millenium IIPA
  27. Beer Valley Fresh-hopped Leafer Madness
  28. Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale
  29. Rogue Chatoe Wet Hop
  30. Deschutes King Cone
  31. Hopworks Sodbuster Pale Ale
  32. McMenamin's on Monroe Hop Bud-E
  33. 4th Street Brewing Fresh Hop Pale
  34. Hopworks Fest of Fury
  35. Oakshire Conundrum Cascadian Dark Ale
  36. Cascade Cascadian Fresh Hop
  37. Beer Valley Fresh-hopped Black Flag
  38. Oakshire Red Nugget
  39. Rock Bottom Hoodwinked
  40. Golden Valley Mt. Hood Fresh Hop
  41. Roots Hoppopotamus
  42. Fort George Cohoperative Ale
  43. MacTarnahan's Fresh-hopped Amber
  44. Ninkasi Nugg E. Fresh
That's a lot of beers, if I do say so myself, though some of them I just had small tastes of. I tried all of those on draft -- or cask -- except the Silver Moon, which I got a bottle of from Belmont Station. That's probably it for this year, though I haven't had Amnesia's, Caldera's, or the Harvest Man from Lompoc yet, and I suppose there's a chance I'll see one of them.

And now I'll shut up about fresh hops for a few months.


  1. Picked up the Crystal variant of the Lupulin on Saturday (on a fluke - I asked for the Imperial Porter to fill up the growler and the guy apologized and said they had cleared that keg last night and tapped the Crystal . . . talk about falling bass-ackwards into a better option) and I would concur with your assessment of Crystal > Cascade.

  2. Ben: it's weird, because the Cascades in FH Mirror Pond are so perfect, better than Hop Trip (Crystal). But even last year I preferred the Nugget Lupulin over the Cascade Lupulin (and both were way better than the Rainier one). Dunno why Cascades don't work as well in Lupulin.

  3. If you were to put breaks in you list to demarcate these by category (superb, excellent, good, poor, something like that), where would the lines go? I can't tell if the superb goes to the fourth or 34th beer--and where, if at all, you'd put a line for "poor."

    (Since the list is based on hop freshness, you have left yourself an out in terms of harsh judgment.

  4. Jeff: You're putting me on the spot. Every time I look at that list, I want to move things around.

    Let's do it this way:

    Bullseye Fresh Hop Beers: 1 - 11.

    Beers that miss the fresh-hop mark, but which are exceptional in some other way: 12-16, 24-27, 34-36.

    Beers that I would avoid: 38-44.

  5. How come mostly Oregon beers? Where are the Fresh Hop beers from other states?

  6. Barnacle Bill: It's the numbers, man. If I drank every fresh-hop beer brewed this year in the United States, the list would still be mostly Oregon beers. Here's a nearly complete list of 2009 Oregon fresh-hop beers.

    Anyway, I tend to drink locally: fresher, lower carbon footprint, no lack of variety here.

  7. Your one of them carbon footprint type of guys?

  8. Had to put you on the spot; otherwise, someone from the federal government might think you'd received free samples and toss you in the slammer. Just lookin' out for you.

    Thanks for taking the plunge--it does help clarify which ones I should be trying to taste.