A Guide to Finding and Drinking Fresh Hop Beers in the PNW

These festivals, bars and new brews will quench your fresh hops thirst
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This story originally ran on Washington Beer Blog. Follow Kendall Jones on Twitter and Instagram at @beerblog

It’s a magical time of year: the annual hop harvest. That means all of you hop heads are eager to quaff some fresh hop beers at every opportunity. As your beer enablers, we want to share some information about where you can find fresh hop beers. We list festivals and special events where you can enjoy a selection of freshies. We also share what we know about particular breweries and their plans for releasing this year’s product.

I will update this post as more info comes in and will share it continually via social media channels. Breweries, bars and others with info can contact me at kjones@washingtonbeerblog.com.

FESTIVALS AND BARS

Watershed Pub and Kitchen, Seattle – As of September 6th the freshies have started to arrive. Early arrivals include beers from Mazama Brewing and 20 Corners Brewing Company. “Looking like the floodgates will open in the next week or two – Breakside Brewery, Rooftop Brewing Company, Maritime Pacific Brewery, Lazy Boy Brewing Company, Lucky Envelope Brewing and others on the way.”

Fresh Hop Pop Up Festival, Portland – A pop-up outdoor covered beer garden featuring daily tappings of the freshest beer of the season from September 12th – 16th and September 19th – 23rd at 7th & E. Burnside, Portland, OR.

Growler Guys Fresh-tival, Seattle – Starting officially on Sept. 16th, 16+ different fresh hop beers in the rotation at Growler Guys in Seattle. Actually, the fresh hop beers will start making it into the rotation on the 10th, but the official Fresh-tival kicks off on the 16th, and then runs through the 29th.

Hood River Hops Fest, Hood River, Oregon – Saturday, September 22, Noon – 8:00. Held in downtown Hood River, the event features 50 breweries, mostly Oregon breweries, pouring at least 60 different fresh hop beers.

Portland Fresh Hops Beer Fest – September 28th and 29th. Oaks Amusement Park in Portland.

Fresh Hop Ale Festival, Yakima – September 29th 2018 5:00 – 10:00 in downtown Yakima. Tickets are probably still available, but good luck finding a hotel room. Always worth a shot. Over 60 breweries from across the Northwest pouring fresh hop beers. Note – the days leading up to Fresh Hop Ale Festival is known as Fresh Hop Beer Week in Yakima. Multiple events.

Fresh Hop Forum at Aslan Brewing, Bellingham – September 29th. Aslan Brewing is assembling a tap list of special release fresh hop beers from far and wide ~ available all in one place, the Aslan Depot: Barrels & Blending. The event will feature live music, delicious food options, and plenty of fresh hop beer to go around! We’ll be releasing the full beer lineup as we get closer to the event. See the Facebook event page.

Beer Junction Fresh Hop Fest, Saturday September 29th thru Sunday, October 7th. They intend to pour 20-30 fresh hop beers at a time for nine days in a row. Dedicating up to 30 taps to fresh hop beers at any given time. Whoa!

Sisters Fresh Hop Fest, Sisters, Oregon – Hosted by Three Creeks Brewing Co. Saturday, September 29, noon – 8:00. Village Green Park, Sisters, OR.

Fresh Hop Fest at the Bev – Beveridge Place Pub, Seattle – Saturday, October 6th. Noon to 6:00. 30+ fresh hop beers from the Northwest, outdoor games, and food! Rain or shine.

Fresh Hop Flight – Sunday, Oct. 14th, Starting at 11:00. Brewmaster’s Taproom, Renton.  “This year we’re teaming up with All Mutts Great & Small out of Yakima! We’ll have an amazing flight of fresh hop beers for $20 with 100% of the proceeds going to All Mutts! Plus, by purchasing a ticket to the flight tasting, you’ll have first dibs on our always awesome auction event!”

Fresh Hop Fiesta - October 9th at The Pine Box in Seattle. "We will have been tapping Fresh hop beers since early September, this day we'll be tapping everything we can that's fresh and delicious. Expect 20 of the freshest fresh hop beers from some of our favorite breweries all on tap this day. Keep an eye one the Facebook event page for details.  

BEER RELEASES
List will be updated as info becomes available. Note that this is a moving target. While things are still in the tanks, dates are flexible. That is,  check with the brewery before you make a special trip across town. Unless otherwise noted, look for these beers at the brewery taprooms.

Two Beers Brewing – Already Released their first one. More to come. See our previous post.

20 Corners Brewing – Already Released. More to come. Keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Lazy Boy Brewing – Already Released. On tap at the brewery’s taproom and The Fidder’s Inn. Coming soon to Watershed Pub. (See above)

Fremont Brewing – Friday, September 7th. Fremont Brewing released its fall seasonal, Field to Ferment Fresh Hop Pale Ale, on draft and in six-packs on Friday, September 7th. Look for it at the Urban Beer Garden and at local retailers, Fremont is brewing this single fresh hop ale with three hop varieties sequentially as they are harvested throughout the entire hop harvest in Yakima. The first release will feature early harvest Centennial hops followed by Simcoe and finally Citra.

Top Rung Brewing – Sat. Sept. 8th. Fresh Centennial hops from CLS Farms in Moxee, WA.

Stoup Brewing – Tuesday, Sept. 11th. Centennial hops from CLS Farms. Released at the taproom.

Reuben’s Brews – Tuesday, Sept. 11th. Fresh Hop Amarillo and Fresh Hop Crikey Amarillo Fresh Hop will only be available on tap in the taproom. Amarillo Fresh Hop will only be available on tap in the taproom. Fresh Hop Crikey will be available on tap and in 22-oz bottles in the taproom and in limited distribution around the Pacific Northwest.

Diamond Knot – week of Sept 10. Pale ale with fresh Amarillo hops from Gamache Farms. Expected to be out for distribution week of Sept. 10th.

Cloudburst Brewing – Sept. 12 thru Oct. 17. Brewing several wet hop beers. Exact release dates subject to change. 9/12 One Eight IPA; 9/19 Waterworld IPA; 9/21 The Splash Zone Pale; 9/26 Another IPA; 9/28 A Big Ol’ IPA; 10/3 An IPA collab w/Cellarmaker; 10/10 Out Last IPA collab w/Pinthouse & Call to Arms.

Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery – Sept. 13. several pounds per barrel mixed local fresh hops, mostly Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook, plus a touch of some nice whole-leaf and “noble” hops on the side.

DRU BRU – Sept. 15th. (and Oct. 15). Dru Bru partners with Cornerstone Ranches (fellow Gonzaga alums) to create two fresh hop ales. The first, brewed with Centennial hops will be released Sept. 15. The second, brewed with Cashmere hops will be released Oct. 15.

Stoup Brewing – Sept. 17. Brewed with Simcoe hops from Carpenter Ranches.

Ghostfish Brewing – Sept. 17. Releasing Centennial Fresh Hop ale.

Pike Brewing – Sept. 18 (tentative) – Fresh Hopped Space Needle IPA. Available at the Pike Pub, Tankard and Tun, and also at the Space Needle’s observation deck (cool). Brewed with Cascade and Centennial fresh hops from Chelan Valley Hops, the only commercial hop farm with irrigation rights to the glacial waters of Lake Chelan.

Stoup Brewing – Sept. 19th. Brewed with fresh Simcoe hops from Carpenter Ranches.

Hellbent Brewing  Sept 19th (Amarillo Fresh Hop IPA). “For this wonderful batch of greatness we would like to thank Virgil Gamache Farms located in Toppenish, WA. Head Brewer/ Owner Brian Young visited the farm earlier this month and picked up some fresh Amarillo hops which will give the beer an “aroma that is described as flowery, spicy and citrus-like with a distinct orange bouquet.” Release event planned.

Airways Brewing – Friday, September 21st. Airways Brewing of Kent will release its Fresh Hop IPA on Friday, 9/21. Brewed with freshly picked Amarillo hops from Virgil Gamache Farms in Toppenish, WA. About 110 pounds for a 10-barrel batch. 6.0% ABV.

Bainbridge Brewing – Friday, September 21st. Fresh Hop WA SMASH released at its taproom and it’s Alehouse, both on Bainbridge Island. Kegs to NW Beverages for distribution the week after. Brewed with Amarillo hops and Skagit NZ-151 malt. Single Malt, Single Hop, Single State. 

Pike Brewing – September 21st (tentative). Wolf in the Woods. Brewed with fresh Citra hops from Perrault Farms. Available at the Pike Pub and at Tankard and Tun.

PostDoc Brewing – Week of September 21 thru 28. Citraverse IPA is a 100% Citra Fresh Hop brewed with a touch of wheat resulting in hazy juicy goodness with loads of fresh tangerine and musky mango character. Hops are from Perrault Farms in Yakima.

Stoup Brewing – Sept. 24th (week of). Brewed with Citra hops from Perrault Fams and Loral hops from Loftus Ranches.

Hellbent Brewing, September 25th (Meridian Fresh Hop IPA). “We would like to thank Coleman Agriculture for the beautiful selection of fresh Meridian hops. Coleman Agriculture is a 6th generation family owned and operated farm with headquarters just south of the small Western Oregon community of St. Paul.” Release event planned.

Stoup Brewing, September 27 (est.) – Mosaic fresh hop.

Redhook Brewlab, September 29 - Redhook will release two fresh hop beers at Redhook Brewlab in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. One uses Azacca hops from Roy Farms, the other uses Citra hops from Perrault Farms (a collaboration beer brewed with 20 Corners Brewing).

More coming soon.

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