Grab A Beer: Deschutes Chasin’ Freshies & Hop Trip

October 11th, 2012 · No Comments · Beer Reviews

Deschutes Chasin’ Freshies          Deschutes Hop Trip
Alcohol by Volume: 7.4%                      Alcohol by Volume: 5.7%

Look for these beers and more at Full Throttle Bottles in Georgetown.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a beer review, and with two fresh hop beers from Deschutes Brewery hitting the market this week I figured I’d do a bit of a comparison of the two. Hop Trip is a pale ale that has been brewed since 2006, while Chasin’ Freshies is an IPA that is being released for the first time by the brewery located in Bend, Oregon. Deschutes knows their way around a fresh hop, and while these are the only two they released in bottles this year there were at least 3 or 4 others that they had on draft at their pubs. For those not familiar, fresh hop beers use hops picked straight from the field rather than hops that are dried before use. Fresh hops can impart earthy, “green” hop flavors that you can’t really get from using just dried hops.

Hop Trip is available in six-packs and Chasin’ Freshies is available in 22oz bottles. Both can also be found on draft.

Hop Trip: Pours a medium copper with big head. Lightly sweet caramel malt with a bit of dark fruit lays a base for green and citrus hop flavors. This is a nicely balanced, sessionable pale ale that features the fresh hops in tandem with a tasty malt profile and a moderate bitterness. I could definitely have a few of these and be a happy man.

Chasin’ Freshies: Pours a very pale golden color with big head. This is very light in color for an IPA. I catch some green fresh hop in the aroma, along with grass and citrus. The flavor is grassy hops that really continue to build through the finish. Lightly sweet, grainy pale malt again doesn’t reflect a traditional IPA, but the malt flavor is quite muted anyways. A moderate bitterness finishes things off, and some alcohol flavor also comes through. There is a good amount of grassy/citrus fresh hop aroma and flavor here, but it’s also fairly one-dimensional.

Comparison: These are two very different beers. By using 100% Pilsner malt (+flaked oats) in the Chasin’ Freshies, they are essentially keeping it as simple as possible to let the hop flavors stand out. Hop Trip is more complex, despite being a lower ABV. The hop flavors might not stand out quite as much in Hop Trip, but there is more of the citrus flavor that I love. If I’m choosing between the two, I’d stick with Hop Trip myself. Chasin’ Freshies is still worth a try though.

Verdict: Buy them while you still can
Click here to see a list of select local bottle shops.
Brewery Website
Ratebeer Info – Chasin’ Freshies
Ratebeer Info – Hop Trip
BeerAdvocate Info – Chasin’ Freshies
BeerAdvocate Info – Hop Trip

Commercial Description/Press Release – Hop Trip:

Each year around Labor Day, Deschutes brewers high-tail it over the pass to Doug Weather’s hop fields near Salem for the harvest. After bagging these aromatic jewels, we hustle back and toss them into the brew kettles within four hours of picking. Our reward: a pale ale with a uniquely bright citrus punch and fall spice. It’s something only Deschutes would take past the idle-talk stage. Brewed with Salmon Safe Hops

Malt: NW Pale, Extra Special, Cara-Munich, Carapils
Hops: Nugget, Centennial, Fresh Crystal

Commercial Description/Press Release – Chasin’ Freshies:

Like fresh powder, it’s a seize-the-moment thing. At harvest, we rush Goschie Farms’ Cascade hops fresh from vine to kettle. Not any Cascades, mind you, but an heirloom strain, from a single field, restored from the original rhizome. Hope you’re as hopped up as we are.

Malt: Pilsner Malt, Flaked Oats
Hops: Bravo, Fresh Heirloom Cascades

In the interest of full disclosure to satisfy the FTC regulations, this review was of a sample bottle received from the brewery.


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