Tis the damn Wet Hop Season!

Do you like to not cash in on a very short seasonal beer? Quit reading.

We’ve reached that time of year where most breweries try to cash in on freshly picked hops after the harvest season, and immediately placed in the wort for brewing. Hop Culture defines wet-hopped beers, also known as fresh hopped, as using hops that are preserved as whole cone, rather than dried or in pellet form. This will often make them much more aromatic and have higher levels of oil and acidity, resulting in sharper and more flavorful beers.

The reason this method of brewing only comes once a year is likely cost. Imagine a heart transplant, you only have a certain amount of time to harvest the organs (in this case, 24 hours before the hops need to be used). A bit of a morbid example, but you get the point. The cost of transport probably eats up most, if any, profit these brewers are making. Therefore, at the end of the summer season right when the heat is right about to die down, a small amount of breweries will start pushing out fresh hop beers, and then more and more follow suit.

Next time you’re in your local grocery or liquor store, keep an eye out for anything that has “wet” or “fresh” in their name. Here’s one I stumbled into at Whole Foods:

Sister Strata – Laughing Monk Brewing

Another fine brew from Laughing Monk, slowly becoming one of my favorite local spots. It has a gentle aroma, a bit of a juicy feel and is vaguely grassy. I will probably much prefer Lagunitas’ fresh hop take, but couldn’t complain here.

Rating: 7.2

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