It’s become an annual ritual: the release of the first fresh hop beer of the season at Two Beers Brewing. For the past nine years the Seattle-based brewery has gotten the very first hops harvested in the Yakima Valley. On Friday, August 3rd they’ll release Fresh Hop IPA at The Woods Taproom in Seattle. Soon thereafter, the beer will be released for wider distribution.
A couple weeks ago, the brewery hosted its annual picking party, inviting the public to come help pick the hops off of the freshly harvested bines. Joel Vandenbrink, the CEO and Brewmaster, gets up early in the morning and drives a box truck to Puterbaugh Farms near Yakima where he goes out into the field to bring down the bines. He loads up the truck and returns to Seattle where the crowd, and the brewers, await the precious cargo. The hop are quickly picked that afternoon and used in the brew later that night and/or early the following morning, assuring that that hops are utilized within 24 hours of harvest.
Why are these the first hops of the year? Legend has it that there is one particular part of one particular field on one particular farm that comes ready very early in the season. Fact is, everything suggest that all of the harvest will come in early this year. It appears we are a couple of weeks ahead of schedule this year, for whatever reason.
Here is the press release from Two Beers Brewing about the beer and the release.
Two Beers Brewing Co Releases First of the Season Fresh Hop IPA!
Seattle-based brewery to release the first of the season, award-winning Fresh Hop IPA featuring fresh Centennial and Cluster Hops from Puterbaugh Farms in Yakima Valley
SEATTLE (July 31, 2018) – Fresh Hop IPA season is (almost) upon us. Two Beers Brewing Co. continues their tradition of releasing the first Fresh Hop IPA of the season, with draft and package product available starting Friday, August 3 at The Woods tasting room in SoDo, and select locations around Seattle, with wider distribution on Monday, August 6.
First brewed in 2009, Fresh Hop IPA enters its ninth season on the Two Beers lineup, remaining one of the Seattle-based brewery’s most popular releases. A true labor of love, Fresh Hop IPA is made with fresh Centennial and Cluster hops from beloved fifth generation hop farmers, Puterbaugh Farm in Yakima Valley. The hops are handpicked by dozens of staff and volunteers on the brewery dock; the process allows Two Beers to go from hop bine to brew in less than 24 hours for an exceptional finished product.
The hop harvest arrived earlier than expected this year, allowing Founder and CEO, Joel VandenBrink, to once again hand pick bines of Centennial and Cluster hops at Puterbaugh Farms in Yakima Valley, before trekking back to Seattle to harvest hops over cold beers with the most dedicated hop fans. This year’s Fresh Hop IPA will feature Centennial hops, giving the brew a juicy citrus aroma with hints of grapefruit and passion fruit, and Cluster hops, which tend more towards bitter and earthy. Fresh Hop IPA (6.2% ABV/70 IBUs) is dark straw in color with light caramel malt tones, and resembles an aggressively dry-hopped IPA, but packs the punch and flavor only fresh hops can deliver. In addition to the fresh picked Centennial and Cluster hops, this beer features locally grown Amarillo, Cascade, and Citra hops, helping this popular seasonal achieve its bright and delightfully bitter flavor.
“Every step of our Fresh Hop IPA process is a celebration of what makes beer in the Pacific Northwest so great!” said Joel VandenBrink, Founder & CEO of Two Beers Brewing Co. “There’s a certain joy in being able to connect our beer fans directly to the local ingredients that go into Fresh Hop IPA.”
Celebrate the release of Fresh Hop IPA on Friday, August 3 at The Woods tasting room in SoDo (4660 Ohio Ave S) from 3-10pm. Shared with Seattle Cider Company, and Sound Craft Seltzer Co, The Woods will feature a full line up of pints and tasters, along with package product to go. Fresh Hop IPA will be available in 12-ounce cans and on draft throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho, for a limited time starting August 6.
For more information, follow Two Beers Brewing Co. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@twobeersbrewing), or visit twobeersbrewing.com. For more information about Puterbaugh Farms, visit hopsdirect.com
About Puterbaugh Farms
Puterbaugh Farms is a 5th generation hop farming family, growing hops in the Yakima Valley of Washington State since the early 1930’s. After hearing of the fertility of Washington State’s Yakima Valley, Noel Charvet – a French immigrant – moved his family from Canada in 1932 and planted his roots for a hop farm. Today, Stacy, his brother, sisters, and two sons now work the 1,200+ acre hop farm. They take pride in knowing that four generations have worked to grow and harvest only the highest quality crops, paving a path for their growing 5th generation to carry on the legacy.
About Two Beers Brewing Co.
Founded in 2007 by Joel Vandenbrink in a 140 square foot storage unit, Two Beers Brewing Co. has been brewing and distributing beer to the Pacific Northwest for over a decade. Dedicated to crafting delicious, creative beers with quality Northwest ingredients, Two Beers Brewing is distributed throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho. Visit The Woods tasting room in SoDO (4660 Ohio Ave S. 98134) for a full line up of draft and package product from Two Beers Brewing, Seattle Cider Company, and Sound Craft Seltzer Co. For more information, visit twobeersbrewing.com and connect on facebook, instagram, and twitter @twobeersbrewing