Fresh Hop Ale Fest

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We made it out alive! And only one stolen Apple watch, one shattered phone and no one getting too lost. And yes… I’m the one that can’t have nice things…

I’ve gotta say, the beer was absolutely fantastic at the Fresh Hop Ale Fest on Saturday night; the only rough thing about it was that a lot of kegs blew way too quickly! Als0, since it started at 5, it was almost impossible to get any pictures… you’ll have to deal with ridiculous selfies and my boring words to get you through.

What I really dug about this festival is that it wasn’t just Washington (local Seattle) breweries. While Seattle will always hold my heart, I had the chance to check out some other breweries around the state and in to Oregon as well!

The taster glasses (yeah, that full pint you see in the first picture) probably knocked all of us on our a$$. Just look at the functioning group pictures we took below… One ticket got you 8 ounces, but every half pour ended up being around 3/4 of the glass.

When if feels like every brewery is doing a Citra something-or-other, festivals like this remind us of all the lovely hop creations that are grown right here in Yakima. Mosaic hops are kind of new to town when it comes to hops, and is an offspring of Simcoe. It brings all three of the bitterness, aroma and flavor that a beer maker (and drinker) could ask for; the aroma tends to lean towards other fruits like blueberry, tangerine & other floral aspects. So if you aren’t huge in to the mango and grapefruit, these hops specifically create a one-of-a-kind profile that other hops might lack.

I think pFriem Family Brewers will always be one of my go-to’s, and I’m so happy I got to them just a little after 7pm. Right when I walked up they had just blown their Citra Fresh Hop; sure, I love citra beers, but I had my eye on their Fresh Hop Mosaic Pale- holy damn. Yes. I want a handful of kegs.

Let’s face it, you can give me any beer from pFriem and I’m going to love it to death. This mosaic was beyond tasty with a pretty intense hop profile up-front and throughout. The aroma was enough to get me obsessed right away; from the moment I sniffed it, I immediately wanted to bottle it up- hop perfume isn’t weird, right? The hops were so fresh on this I felt like I was tasting the straight little green nubs! It reminded me of when my dad crushed open a hop for me and let me smell it. Seriously, you can’t beat it!

Another brew that was my favorite was Cloudburst Brewing‘s Essence of Wetness and had such a complex flavor/aroma going on! Light caramel-ly malt, citrus, grapefruit & some pretty nice dankness definitely greets the nose and blends in to light piney and citrus hops, grapefruit and some stone fruits on the palette; I really dug how the malt didn’t take over in this brew, and the freshness from the hops really stole the show. I hear from everyone that Cloudburst is one helluvuh brewery, and I guess I have no other option but to get myself down there!

Stoup Brewing out of Ballard also had a killer Simcoe Fresh Hop that, with great sadness, I didn’t get a full glass out of. The great thing about having beer friends is that their beer becomes your beer by nature. After tasting Kevin’s Simcoe I tried to hunt it down, but no luck! This brew had a little less bitterness and mild malt, thanks to the fresh Simcoe hops, and definitely had a huge juicy flavor. Honestly, I’ve been a little back and forth with Stoup, but this is drawing me in!

With so many beers to check out and so many breweries , it’s easy to get a little carried away at these things. I love writing about beer, taking all the pictures and really figuring out the complexity of the brews, but events like these remind me so much why I even got in to writing about beer. These events are full of breweries who are passionate about their beer and the people who want to explore their love for beer even more.

What do I suggest for beer fests? Well, you should be going to every single one you can, enjoy times with beer friends, dance it out (even when your boyfriend forces you) and make sure to drink all the water! Also, look out for me- because I’m bound to be running around somewhere!

 

Cheers Xx

 

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