It’s the best time of year for craft beer lovers, hop harvest!
Every year, drinkers wait patiently for the hot summer weather to start to give way to cooler days, not because they’ve been waiting to break out the Barley Wine (well maybe), but because the change in seasons means those big juicy hops are finally ready to harvest, and brewers from all over will fight to get their hands on the best crops of the season.
If you don’t know why hop harvest is such a big deal, it’s because freshly hopped beer makes for a drinking experience that can’t be duplicated any other way. Bold beers with both the taste and aroma of fresh ingredients simply can’t be beat.
Over the years, brewers have gotten increasingly more experimental with fresh hops; when once the market would be flooded with fresh hop IPAs, we now see a strong diversity that allows drinkers of all types the ability to try out what this season has to offer.
Here are a few of the better options for this hop season that we’ve found; but be warned, fresh hopped beer is limited, so get your hands on these while you can!
Driftwood Brewing: Sartori Harvest IPA
This is required drinking for anyone interested in fresh hopped beer. The Sartori Harvest is the OG of fresh hopped and has continued to be one of the best representations of the style despite the massive growth in competition. Tells you how good this IPA really is.
Dageraad Brewing: Wet Hopped Blonde
Dageraad has perfected their recipe over the years, and this wet hopped blonde is soft and delicious. It’s not a major departure from the traditional fresh hopped IPAs but just enough that it doesn’t smack you in the mouth with hoppy bitterness.
Category 12: Fresh Hopped Wild Pale Ale
First of all it’s a canned fresh hop which is a nice difference, and the beer inside is a really crisp offering. Luscious, easy drinking, and perfectly transportable the team at Category 12 knows how to make a good wild ale.
Strathcona Brewing: Fresh Hop Sour
Another interesting departure from the traditional styles, this sour combines malted pilsner, oats and rye with fresh hops to create a unique sour beer. Of course the labelling is on point as well.
Deep Cove: Fresh Hop Hazy Pale Ale
Capitalizing on the trending hazy pales, Deep Cove has taken fresh cashmere and cascade hops and paired them with the hazy juiciness that drinkers have come to love about this style.