Another October has come and gone and with it the memories of all things that make October special. Gone are the opportunities to carve pumpkins. Gone are the corn mazes. And gone are the fresh-hop beers that make this time of year special.
However this doesn't mean that you can't still enjoy that experience of a beer made from freshly picked hops. In fact you are reading a review about one right now.
A couple of weeks ago Deschutes Brewery from Bend Oregon was kind enough to send up a couple of bottles of cheer in the form of their annual Hop Trip Pale Ale. Now in a twelve ounce size we were eager to jump right in and try this fresh hopped beer.
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
Beer Geek Information
- Pale, Fresh Hop
- Alc. 5.4% | IBUs 38
Suggested Guidelines from the Brewers Association (ref. Fresh Hopped Ale)
Ales which are hopped exclusively with fresh and undried (―wet‖) hops. This ale should have characters similar to the style to which it is brewed with the added nuances of green, almost chlorophyll-like character with fresh, new beers. These beers may be aged and enjoyed after the initial ―fresh-hop‖ character diminishes. Unique character from ―aged‖ fresh hop beers may emerge, but they have yet to be identified and discussed. Brewers may provide information indicating style of beer
Out of the bottle Hop Trip Fresh-hopped Pale Ale appears as expected an orange to reddish color with an obvious appearance of being filtered. Forming on top is an inch and a half of off-white head that quickly recedes leaving behind small amounts of lace inside the glass.
Early impressions as this writer takes the first sniffs are of an pale ale filled with aromas of cannabis, pine, and grapefruit as well as sweet caramel.
Taking the first sip only confirms further the presence of pine, grapefruit citrus, and 'skunky' bitterness that can only be balanced out by a wash of honey and biscuit malt breadiness. Overall Hop Trip Pale Ale remains on the tongue with a medium weight and there is a some residual stickiness.
You Should Have This. For this writer it’s been a while since we have enjoyed a Fresh-hopped Pale Ale this much. This isn’t to say we haven’t had our share of fresh-hopped pale ales. But never one that is this readily available.
Food options abound with a beer this balanced. For starters consider some classic chicken dressing, followed up with a hearty BLT & blue cheese crumbles. Feeling a bit veggie? We can suggest a nice Morning Star version of a BLT or maybe some Field Roast Celebration Roast, hot from the oven.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.
About the photo’s author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.