written by Brad Blaser on September 13th, 2012
School is back in session, football season has started, and the hops have bloomed. It’s that time of the year again, Fresh Hop Season! September is when hop growers harvest their entire hop crops for the year of use. To use these whole, fresh hops, they must be picked as fresh as possible and put into the kettle right off the vine. Fort George brewers went all out in 2012 with 4 different beers featuring fresh hops. Be on the lookout for these beers throughout September.
Listed below are the Fresh Hop beers that we have crafted this year, along with tapping dates for Fort George. There will be a special Fort George Fresh Hop Tap Takeover at the Bridgetown Beer House on September 25th at 6:00pm. Stay tuned for more info about tappings, and fresh hop festivals!
Fort George was founded on the idea that many hands make light work. We extend this philosophy to the creation of our annual fresh hop beer, Co-Hoperative Ale. The call goes out to all Fort George fans to bring in their hops that bloom on fences, barns, and houses. We then spend a day picking all of them off the vines, not even knowing the variety of many! 12 donors lended their crop to this year’s batch, which equated to the heaviest hopping schedule yet. It smells like teamwork and tastes like unity. Enjoy this light, crisp, amber beer and take note of its harmonious spirit. 5% ABV Tapping on Friday, September 14th!
(Check out this short video that we made about this year’s Co-Hoperative Ale. Hope you all can join us next year!)
Fresh Hop Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale (OPA)
This is the same great Oatmeal Pale Ale that has been making mornings easier to bear, but now is fresher and danker than ever. For this batch, Fort George brewers used whole fresh hops shipped directly from Hop Union in Yakima WA, and threw them into the kettle that very same day. They had used so many hops during the four previous fresh hop beer-brews this season, that all of the remaining hop sacks remained happily torn. So they did this one the dirty way, and pitched the entire batch of whole hops right into the kettle. Amarillo, Citra, and Centennial hops were used to make this hoppy pale. Dirty=Delicious. 5.2% ABV Tapping on Monday, September 17th.
Fresh Hop Vortex IPA
For this batch of Vortex, Fort George moved its production back to the pub system, “Sweet Virginia,” where it all started, and vowed to make the freshest, hoppiest Vortex yet. The hops were shipped directly from Hop Union in Yakima, WA after harvest and the whole hops were thrown directly into the kettle. Oozing of luplulin, the sticky-icky fresh hops added were Simcoe, Amarillo, and a light hand of Citra and Centennial. 7.7% ABV Tapping on Wednesday, September 19th.
When people think of Astoria, two words come to mind. Fresh and enigmatic. This beer is Astoria. The aroma has been modeled after the smell of the late summer rain that has crept its way into Astoria this time of year. Hopstoria has a golden hue that complements the crisp, subtle taste of the woods. With mild notes of pine, roast, and a hint of spruce, Hopstoria is our liquid adaptation of why people love Astoria and why they feel compelled to come back. 4.4 % ABV Tapping on Wednesday, September 21st.