Flower power: Fresh hop beers - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Flower power: Fresh hop beers

Updated: Jan 19, 2012 03:45 PM EST
© iStockphoto / Thinkstock © iStockphoto / Thinkstock


By Lucy Burningham


In 2009 I found myself standing in the fields at Sod-buster Farms in the Willamette Valley as machines ripped hop cones from long vines, and the air thickened with an intoxicatingly sweet scent.

I was there because many of these aromatic cones—the female plant's flowers—were set to go into seasonal fresh-hop beer, an annual tradition here that showcases the flavor of this green, resinous flower.

Unlike intense, hop-heavy beers brewed with the dried flower, fresh-hop beer captures the cones' delicate essence, with flavors that run from tangerine to pine, depending on the hop variety.

The volatile nature of the fresh, or "wet," hops means brewers must use the cones within 24 hours of picking, before flavors and aromas fade. That puts brewers within driving distance of hop growers in the sweet spot during the late August–September harvest.

Until the 1960s, that harvest happened by hand. These days, brewers visit farms to watch as machines strip the vines.

"It's a reminder of how beer makers are attached to the soil," says Kurt Widmer of Portland's Widmer Brothers Brewing, whose crew bagged 20 pounds of citrusy Summit hops at Oregon's Gos-chie Farm one recent fall.

Fresh-hop beers are on tap at many breweries, brewpubs, and festivals throughout autumn, all over the country.

Though some breweries bottle the beers, it's best to consume them right away—fresh hop flavors fade as quickly as the season.


See our favorite fresh-hop beers in the gallery » 

 

© 2012 SAVEUR
All rights reserved.
  • Mark Leslie RecipesMore>>

  • Leslie Bailey's “A Top of the Morning Breakfast For St. Paddy's Day!”

    Leslie Bailey's “A Top of the Morning Breakfast For St. Paddy's Day!”

    Wednesday, March 12 2014 2:03 PM EDT2014-03-12 18:03:49 GMT
    Wsfa recipe for wed march 22,2014 "A Top of the Morning Breakfast for St. Paddy's Day!" 1 container of Bisquick pancake mix cooked bacon strips green food coloring butter softened powdered sugar Directions: MakeMore >>

    WSFA 12 News Alabama Live recipe for Wednesday March 22,2014. "A Top of the Morning Breakfast for St. Paddy's Day!"More >>

  • Mark Leslie's Quick Pickled Vegetable Platter

    Mark Leslie's Quick Pickled Vegetable Platter

    Friday, May 31 2013 3:31 PM EDT2013-05-31 19:31:06 GMT
    Making pickles doesn't mean having to pull out the dill and canning gear to spend a day over a hot stove. With a little notice ahead, I use salt and vinegar to quickly pickle vegetables from my gardenMore >>
    Making pickles doesn't mean having to pull out the dill and canning gear to spend a day over a hot stove. With a little notice ahead, I use salt and vinegar to quickly pickle vegetables from my gardenMore >>
  • Mark Leslie's "Old School BLT"

    Mark Leslie's "Old School BLT"

    Friday, May 24 2013 3:47 PM EDT2013-05-24 19:47:32 GMT
    Before the microwave, turkey bacon, pre-sliced loaf bread and store-bought mayo, the wholesome BLT had more character. A staple for a simple and refreshing meal on a hot summer's day, my twist on thisMore >>
    Before the microwave, turkey bacon, pre-sliced loaf bread and store-bought mayo, the wholesome BLT had more character. A staple for a simple and refreshing meal on a hot summer's day, my twist on this American favorite...More >>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow