Hop harvest is now upon us. Farmers in the Yakima Valley are just now beginning to harvest the crop in earnest, but a couple weeks ago Joel Vandenbrink, owner/brewmaster at Two Beers Brewing, drove a box truck to Mabton, Washington where he procured some of the very first hops of the season.
After immediately returning the bounty to Seattle, a crew of volunteers assembled on the loading dock at the brewery to strip the cones from the bines. soon thereafter, the hops realized their ultimate destiny and Washington’s first fresh hop beer of 2015 was brewed. (See the photos below, by Mark B. Bauschke Photography.)
On Friday, August 21, Two Beers Brewing releases the first fresh hop beer of the season, the 2015 version of its Fresh Hop IPA, at The Wood Tasting Room in Seattle’s SoDo district.
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“Our fresh hop beer is a true labor of love and we’re proud to release the first fresh hop of the season,” said Joel VandenBrink, founder of Two Beers Brewing Co. “This year, we had more vines than ever before and more than 40 volunteers on the dock ready to help us pick the hops. It’s rare to be able to have your fans be the ones who help create a beer, which is one of the main reasons Fresh Hop is our favorite beer of the season.”
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Ringing in at approximately 80 IBUs and 6.2 percent ABV, the 2015 Fresh Hop IPA’s strong citrus aroma – offering hints of grapefruit and passion fruit – can be attributed to the freshly picked Yakima Valley-grown Centennial hops used to create it. Dark straw in color with light caramel malt tones, 2015 Fresh Hop resembles an aggressively dry-hopped IPA, but packing the punch and flavor 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. Available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft, this beer will only be available for a limited time.
One of Seattle beloved food trucks, Mesob at The Curb, will be on site Friday from 4:00 – 7:00. For more information, follow Two Beers Brewing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit www.twobeersbrewery.com.