On Thursday, October 10th, at The Growler Guys in Seattle, Specialty Competitions LLC announced the winners of the first-ever Washington Beer Awards Fresh Hop Competition. Think of this as a supplement to the annual Washington Beer Awards, a larger statewide competition conducted by the same organization each spring. (Above: the crew from Burke-Gilman Brewing celebrates their win.)
In all, 70 breweries submitted 139 beers for evaluation by a panel of trained judges, who tasted and scored the beers blindly in accordance with accepted beer-judging methodologies. Awards were handed out in eight category groupings. The goal was to find beers that exhibited “excellent fresh hop character integrated into a well-brewed base beer.” Fresh hop beer is defined as those brewed using fresh, unprocessed hops. By definition, the beers are only brewed during the hop harvest, which happens once a year—August through September, roughly.
The competition was open to all of Washington’s licensed, commercial breweries. As with the Washington Beer Awards, the competition was conducted with the endorsement of the Washington Beer Commission.
- Single Hill Brewing from Yakima medaled with each of their four entries.
- Reuben’s Brews earned three medals, including two golds.
- Dru Bru and Burke-Gilman Brewing Company won the highly contested Fresh Hop IPA and Fresh Hop Juicy or Hazy IPA categories, respectively.
Fresh Hop Lagers:
Gold: Headless Mumby Brewing – Wet Hop German Pils
Silver: Trap Door Brewing – Hella Fresh
Bronze: Lowercase Brewing – Fresh Hop Italian Pilsner
Fresh Hop American Pale Ales:
Gold: Stoup Brewing – Triumph Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Silver: Fremont Brewing – Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop
Bronze: Single Hill Brewing – Ecstasy Of Green
Fresh Hop Juicy or Hazy Pale Ales:
Gold: Old Stove Brewing – Streaker Hazy Fresh Hop Version
Silver: Fortside Brewing Company – Fresh Prince Of Pale
Bronze: Single Hill Brewing – Public Enemy
Fresh Hop American Strong Pale Ales:
Gold: Single Hill Brewing – Double Back
Silver: Single Hill Brewing – Fresh Hop Strong Pale
Bronze: Bron Yr Aur Brewing Co. – Amarillo Strong Pale
Fresh Hop American IPAs:
Gold: Dru Bru – Fresh Hop Mosaic
Silver: Old Schoolhouse Brewery – Fresh Hop IPA
Bronze: Georgetown Brewing – Fresh Hop Bodhizafa
Fresh Hop Juicy or Hazy IPAs:
Gold: Burke-Gilman Brewing Company – Zephyr
Silver: Hellbent Brewing Company – Amarillo Fresh Hop Hazy IPA
Bronze: Georgetown Brewing – Fresh Hop Velvet Larry
Fresh Hop Double IPAs and Juicy or Hazy Imperial or Double IPAs:
Gold: Reuben’s Brews – Fresh Hop Double Crush
Silver: Old Schoolhouse Brewery – K’POWW
Bronze: Bale Breaker Brewing Co – Piled High Fresh Hop IPA
Other Fresh Hop Ales:
Gold: Reuben’s Brews – Fresh Hop Triumvirate
Silver: Snoqualmie Falls Brewery – Ghostwood Kolsch
Bronze: Reuben’s Brews – Fresh Hop Crikey IPA