My favorite time of the year is here. It will be about another month until fresh hop beers are here in full force, but they are starting to show up in limited numbers now.
The unofficial kickoff of fresh hop season around here in recent years has been the release of Two Beers Brewing Fresh Hop IPA. This year, they picked the hops and brewed the beer on August 2, and the resulting beer was released on August 19. It’s now available on draft and in 12oz cans (for the first time) throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.
From here, we will see other fresh hop beers start to trickle in, with things really picking up at the end of September through mid-October.
The best way to try multiple fresh hop beers at once is to attend one of the events here in Seattle that focus on them. Following is a list of upcoming events featuring fresh hop beers in Seattle. Let me know if I missed anything and I’ll add it to the list.
If you are interested in more details on fresh hop beers, here is a Q&A with Colin Lenfesty (now of Holy Mountain Brewing) from a few years back.
Fresh Hop Events:
The Fresh Hop Throwdown at The Noble Fir
Saturday, September 24
There will be 18 fresh hop beers on tap when the doors open at 4pm for this 6th annual event. There is a judging competition of the beers earlier in the day and the top 3 beers will be announced at the start of the event.
Fresh Hop Week at The Beer Junction
Saturday, October 1 to Sunday, October 9
You can expect a whole bunch of fresh hop beers rotating on tap throughout the event dates. Don’t forget to take some bottles/cans home.
Fresh Hop Fest at The Pine Box
Thursday, October 6
More than 40 fresh hop beers will be pouring all at once. Last year’s participating breweries included: 3 Magnets, 7 Seas, Backwoods, Bainbridge, Bale Breaker, Ballast Point, Bellevue, Black Raven, Breakside, Crux, Deschuttes, Double Mountain, Ecliptic, Elysian, Everybody’s, Fort George, Fremont, Gilgamesh, Good Life, Hales, Heathen, Holy Mountain, Hop Valley, Lagunitas, Laurelwood, Loowit, Maritime, Melvin, Odin, Outer Planet, Pacific Brewing, pFriem, Pike, Reverend Nat, Ruebens, Schooner Exact, Silver City, Snipes, Spinnaker Bay, Stoup, Two Beers, Wander, & More.
Fresh Hops Festival at Hale’s Palladium
Friday, October 7 & Saturday, October 8
A new festival for 2016 that will feature fresh hop beers from 20+ breweries.
“Hopfest” at Brouwer’s Cafe
The whole month of October
Hopfest is a long running event at Brouwer’s that they have been tweaking over the past few years to focus on fresh hop beers. Things are still in development for this year, but they are leaning towards celebrating hops the entire month of October, instead of the typical one day or weekend event. One can expect at least 10 fresh hop beers on draft at any given time throughout the month, and they will host a different special event each week of the month. Following are the loose details they have at the moment (subject to change):
Fremont Fresh Hop Showcase
Saturday, October 8th at 3pm
Fremont is putting out a rotating series of Fresh hop beers, dubbed the Field to Ferment, throughout the month of September. One each week for the month of September. We are going to hold on to one of each and tap them on this day— we are hoping to have some surprises as well.
Skookum Brewer’s Night – Or lets celebrate Washington Fresh Hops—the details on this are still being figured out.
Thursday, October 13th
Details to come but expect an event on this day.
Hoppy Sour Night
Thursday October 20th at 6pm
4 hoppy sours from Almanac, in addition to New Belgium Le Terrior and some Mikkeller hoppy sours.
Heavy and Hoppy
Thursday, October 27th
Heavy Metal and Big Heavy Ipas—
We will be tapping:
Dogfish Head 120 min
Evil Twin Molotov Heavy