Tag Archives: fresh hop beer

Readers Choice 7: Deschutes Fresh Hops

25 Sep

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I have to raise a glass to the readers on this one. During this fine fresh hop season we have had here in Beervana, Deschutes rose among the masses with their fresh hop beers. Don’t get me wrong, wonderful fresh-hopped beers were found just about everywhere, but still among my favorites is the Fresh Hop Mirror Pond. Continue reading

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One last time

21 Nov

A nice end to the season

I had been saving this Chatoe Rogue First Growth Wet Hop Ale (what a fucking mouthful) for a couple of weeks, not really knowing when I might get around to trying it.  We have clearly passed the fresh hop season, which is really only  a month long.  I still see some fresh hop beers on the store shelves, but since they are really meant to be sipped on earlier rather than later, it makes sense to plow through them relatively quickly.  I didn’t get after this one right away, but while prepping the turkey tonight, I decided to take a little of my own advice from last night and dig in.

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Still fresh

26 Oct

Worst. Name. Ever.

Even though we are at the tail end of the fresh hop extravaganza here in the Pacific NW, I thought I would give a quick take on a couple more fresh hop beers that are taking up space in the kitchen fridge (gotta get rid of them before the wife returns from D.C.).  I’ve gone on, at length, on my favorite fresh hop beers of the season…but here’s one that didn’t quite live up to its billing: Deschutes Chasin’ Freshies Fresh Hop IPA.  A couple of things:

1.  It looks, smells, and tastes like a Pilsner.  I’m just saying…this tastes nothing like an IPA to me.

2.  It doesn’t taste particularly “fresh”.  I realize that it’s hard to describe what that means, but it just tastes like a normal, albeit well-made beer.  Many other fresh hop beers I have had just have that certain something to them that screams fresh from the vine.  They are bright and snappy, with just a hint of a vegetal quality.

3.  The hops are not particularly noticeable, in the sense that there is nothing unique or interesting about the hop flavors here.  They used one variety of heirloom Cascades in the recipe, but it doesn’t taste particularly of fresh Cascades to me.

4.  I have read some other reviews that don’t understand what “Chasin’ Freshies” means.  I think it has something to do with finding good powder to ski/snowboard on (hence the label picture).  Whatever it means, the name makes me snicker and roll my eyes all at the same time.  Not the best way to convince me to drink a beer.

This is a well-balanced, well-made beer.  I have nothing bad to say about it in terms of its flavors and drinkability.  It was damn tasty.  In terms of fresh hop beers, though?  Nowhere close to its Mirror Pond brother/sister or other recent fresh hops I have had: Elysian/New Belgium Collaboration and Ninkasi Total Crystalization to name a few.  We are talking beers that just sat up and smacked you in the mouth with flavor and character.  And really, I’m not some style-Nazi with craft beer, but IPA doesn’t really describe this beer properly.  Beyond all that judgement though, is me telling you that this beer is well made and worth having a pint or two.  They gotta work on that name though…

Keepin’ it fresh

3 Oct

makes me wish summer were still around…

That Mirror Pond Fresh Hop has just haunted my dreams for the last 5 days, so I have picked up other fresh hop bottles in a lame-ass attempt at banishing the experience from my brain.  Yeah…not going to happen.  However, the Bridgeport Hop Harvest Pilsner was intriguing enough to open tonight with dinner.  At 8% ABV, this beer is labeled as one of their Big Brews.   Continue reading

Getting fresh

29 Sep

Is there a better time to be a beer drinker in the NW than during the hop harvest?

Let me break it down for you: It’s hop harvest season in the Pacific NW, which means it’s time for the fresh hop beers to show up on taphandles all over town.  The beers that are available in Washington and Oregon are some of the most local and unique that you will find.  This is Deschutes Fresh Hop Mirror Pond.  It was fucking wonderful.  If you live in Portland (or Bend)…even if Deschutes isn’t your favorite place…you need to drink this beer.  It was all tangerine, lemon, bright grassy herbs, a little licorice, and the freshest damn beer I have ever tasted.  Do yourself the favor before it’s all gone.

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