Seriously? I am not at all ready for summer to be over. But, then again, I’m always happy when the fresh hop ales start to show up, a sure sign that the final days of summer are upon us. And that’s what happens on August 9th in Seattle at Two Beers Brewing. Yep, Two Beers Brewing is releasing its first fresh hop ale of the year on August 9th. I am not kidding.
Typically, the hop harvest gets underway near the end of August and stretches into the first couple weeks of September, maybe a bit beyond. Reports from my sources in the Yakima Valley tell me that the harvest will be a couple weeks early this year, the result of a particularly wet spring followed by a particularly hot summer.
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Above: A photo taken on September 12, 2012 of a top cutter bringing down hops in field 41, a stone’s throw from what is now Bale Breaker Brewing.
Still, fresh hop beer on August 9th? Have you ever seen the like? The hop harvest usually fluctuates a little bit. A few days early this year, a few days later next year. But dang! August 9th!
Two Beers Brewing has a line on hops that come from a particularly “hot” corner of a particular farm. Those hops usually “come ready” about two weeks prior to most of the hops in the Yakima Valley, so Two Beers is usually a couple weeks ahead of everyone else when it comes to fresh hop beers.
Here’s the press release from Two Beers Brewing:
Early Release: Two Beers Brewing to Release First Fresh Hop Ale of 2014; Joined by Pumpkin Spice Ale & High Divide Double Blonde
Three of the Seattle brewery’s most popular seasonal beers to be released Saturday, August 9; Fresh Hop season hits early in Washington thanks to warm weather
SEATTLE (July 24, 2014) – Thanks to a rainy spring and record breaking temps in Eastern Washington, Two Beers Brewing’s 2014 Fresh Hop Ale is scheduled to be released on tap and in bottles at The Woods tasting room on Saturday, August 9. First brewed in 2009, Fresh Hop enters its sixth season on the brewery’s fall lineup with its earliest release date yet. A hyper seasonal, the expanding brewery’s Fresh Hop Ale is know for its intense hop flavor and unique brewing process, which involves a same-day round trip to Yakima, four hours of picking fresh hops off the vine and a 24-hour brewing process. Guaranteeing this is one party you won’t want to miss, August 9 also marks the release of Two Beers Brewing’s popular Pumpkin Spice Ale and the third beer in its limited edition Alta Series, the High Divide Double Blonde.
“This is definitely a first for us,” said Joel VandenBrink, founder of Two Beers Brewing Co. “People wait for these beers all year round and we’re exciting at the opportunity to bring it to them even earlier this year. None of these beers ever last long and we expect this year to be no different!”
Fall offerings from Two Beers Brewing include:
2014 Fresh Hop Ale (unknown IBUs, 6.2% ABV): This Northwest-inspired brew’s strong citrus aroma – featuring hints of grapefruit and passion fruit – can be attributed to the freshly picked Yakima Valley-grown Centennial hops from Puterbaugh Farms used to create it. Dark straw in color with light caramel malt tones, 2014 Fresh Hop resembles an aggressively dry-hopped IPA, but packing the punch only fresh hops can deliver. In addition to Centennial hops, this beer features locally grown Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade and experimental hops, helping this popular beer achieve its bright and delightfully bitter flavor. Draft, 22-ounce bottles. Available until gone!
Pumpkin Spice Ale (19 IBUs, 5.2% ABV): Bright, clean and spicy, this small-batch fall seasonal presents clove, cinnamon, allspice and natural pumpkin in a festive and refreshing ale. Awarded a gold medal as part of the 2013 Washington Beer Awards, recognized by as Best Washington Agricultural Product Inspired Beer. Draft, 22-ounce bottles. Available Aug – Oct.
Alta Series High Divide Double Blonde (42 IBUs, 8.9% ABV): The third beer release as part of Two Beer Brewing’s limited edition Alta Series, this unique high-ABV style is perfect for the warmer days of summer. Brewed with honey malt, fresh Wenatchee peaches and cherries, High Divide was aged in white wine barrels for four months, giving it a dry, oak character complimented by a fruit finish. Draft, 22-ounce bottles. Available Aug – Oct.
Celebrate the release of these exciting beers on Saturday, August 9 at The Woods tasting room in SoDo (4700 Ohio Ave S) from 1-10pm. Pints and tasters will be available for all three beers (prices vary), with 22-ounce bottles of Fresh Hop ($7), Pumpkin Spice ($6) and High Divide ($14) available for purchase. As a special bonus, sister company Seattle Cider Company will be celebrating the release of its seasonal Pumpkin Spice cider the same day, available on tap and in 22-ounce bottles. Grab a bite to eat for $6 at the pig roast happening on the loading dock in front of the tasting room, which includes pork, chips and a piece of fruit. Enjoy a pig raised on our very own spent grain at Wayne Horton Farms.