Varietal Beer Company goes all-in for fresh hop beer season


By the third week of September, one of the company’s fresh hop beers had already come and gone, but don’t worry; there’s more on the way. Varietal Beer Company released the wet-hopped version of Il Festeggiato at the beginning of the month and, reportedly, if it is still available out there at bars and taprooms, by now it’s in short supply.

No worries, Varietal Beer Co. of Sunnyside, Washington has plans to release seven more fresh hop beers in October. Additionally, the company’s head brewer, Chris Baum, just collaborated on a fresh hop beer with Seattle’s Old Stove Brewing. Oh, also, a fresh hop beer brewed for Zeeks Pizza should be out in early October as well. By my reckoning, that is 10 fresh hop beers that are still on the way.

Look at the beer list below. That’s a lot of fresh hop beer. In fact, I’ve never heard of a brewery producing such a robust caboodle of fresh hop beers. On top of that, there are some other taproom-only beers that are not listed.

Literally and figuratively, Varietal Beer Co. is right in the middle of hop country. The people who own and operate the brewery are hop industry veterans and are still active in the industry. Their friends and business associates are hop growers. In other words, Varietal Beer Co. is deeply embedded in the hop culture of the Yakima Valley, so I suppose it is not entirely unexpected that they go off the deep end this time of year.

Here’s the rundown of what’s coming out in October:

  1. “Brisa Verde IPA”  – Mosaic – Brewed in Sunnyside with Matt Edwards from Georgetown. Wet Mosaic hops from Wyckoff Farms.
  2. “Brisa Verde IPA” – Zappa – Brewed with wet Zappa hops from CLS farms. Will be included with the Yakima Valley Hops fresh hop pack.
  3. “Picking Window Pale” – Brewed with wet Citra from Loza Farms & wet Comet hops from Newhouse Farms in collaboration with Stoup Brewing.
  4. “Striganometry DIPA” – Brewed with wet Simcoe from Loftus Ranches & wet Citra from Wyckoff Farms, in collaboration with Bale Breaker.
  5. “Hopfen Keller lager” – Brewed with Sunnyside-grown barley malted by LINC malt in Spokane & Sunnyside-grown wet Comet & Freshly kilned Cascade hops from Newhouse farms. This is our annual fresh hop collaboration with Holy Mountain.
  6. “Temple of Bloom Pale” – Brewed in Sunnyside this year, with our friends from Skookum Brewery using wet Mosaic & freshly kilned Citra from Carpenter Hop Ranches.
  7. “2 Kings Best Coast IPA” – Brewed with our friends from Wandering Hop, we pushed 35lbs per barrel of wet Mosaic from Loza Farms & 5lbs per barrel of freshly kilned Azacca from Wyckoff Farms into this PNW style fresh hop IPA.