Fresh hops! Harvest season is a fun time for brewers. It’s the only time in the year we get local fresh hops and get to put them into the beer straight off the vines! We got 2 varietals this year and featured fresh hops in the two mountainBeers, pairing each fresh hop in styles that portray their special characteristics.
The name, freshies. We’ve been blessed with a wonderful summer this year and it’s continued into the fall. We hope you have been able to take advantage of the lengthened season! Sooner or later winter will be upon us and we’ll turn our thoughts to snowy adventures and finding all of the finest powder and “freshies” we can. One of the more popular places to go is Snoqualmie pass for the winter playground. Snoqualmie Mountain, the tallest mountain in the area, is a great mountain for non-aided winter recreation. Cave ridge is the standard climbing/snow shoe route up the ridge on the S, while the ‘slot’ couloir is arguably the best ski line down the mountain.
The Beer(s). For the month we have a rye pale ale, re-visited from last year due to its popularity, and an IPA
- Cave ridge, fresh hop, rye. Cave ridge rye features fresh simcoe hops, imparting a beautiful/delicate piney aroma and acidity in the beer. To feature the simcoe hops, we put the hops on top of a light, dry pale. We used ~35% rye, which aids in drying out the beer, but also adds a little complexity complementing the simcoe. Some might find this a strange pairing, but they work really well together in Cave Ridge rye. Indeed, last year’s testaments confirmed it.
- Slot, fresh hop, IPA. Slot was made with citra fresh hops, imparting a distinct grapefruit character in the beer. All of the fresh hops were added at the end of the boil (others varieties were used for flavor and bittering) and contribute almost exclusively to the aroma. The strong Citra aroma is supported by a nicely balanced malty backbone with nice hop flavor and bitterness.