Archive for October, 2011
Deschutes Brewing, located in Bend, Oregon, is amongst my favorite breweries. This brewery has been around since the mid-80’s and is one of the big boys in micro-breweries based in Oregon, along with Widmer and Bridgeport. Deschutes is available in most of the country, in fact, no matter where you’re from, you’ve likely seen Mirror Pond Pale Ale on tap or in bottles.
In today’s review, we continue the fresh hop ale trend by trying Hop Trip Pale Ale from Deschutes. This beer stands out because the brewers actually drive to my home turf of Salem, Oregon to pick their hops amongst the fields around Oregon’s Capital city. Then, they immediately drive back to Bend to boil the hops immediately and begin the brewing process.
Hop Trip comes in at 38 IBUs and weighs in at 5.4% alcohol. The description on the bottle describes this as a citrousy hoppy beer with fall spice.
Hop Trip pours with very little head and has a copper-red color to it. It’s an appealing looking beer which just makes you even more excited to drink it.
Normally descriptions are justified, and in this, case Hop Trip is exactly as advertised. The Cascade Hops seem like they pop in your mouth upon your first sip. This beer is a little bitter, but a quick spicy aftertaste that makes this a balance hoppy beer. Hop heads will likely think Hop Trip is a little weak, but for hop lovers and those who like a mild IPA, Hop Trip will hit the spot.
September and October is a very special time of year. It’s the time that the hops are in season. I’m lucky to live in the heart of the hops growing region of the Willamette Valley here in Salem, Oregon. Each year, in September all the brewers in the Oregon area come here to check out the harvest. As a result, we beer drinkers get to be witness to the amazing brews that happen as a result.
In this review, we’ll dig into a brew from Bridgeport called Hop Harvest Ale. The label promises that this brew is from field to brew in under 1 hour, which is an amazing feat. Imagine that there are brewers, loading up a truck full of hops, heading straight for the brewery to boil them instantly. It’s a yummy proposition.
I’m a huge fan of fresh hop ales, largely because I love the floral bitter taste of an IPA, but sans the the punch-you-in-your face bitterness. This is where fresh hop ales come into place. These ales offer a hoppy experience without a high-degree of bitter.
In fact, this specific Bridgeport ale is intended to mix caramel malt and a touch of wheat to give a cloudy color to an ale that begs to be sampled.
Upon first sip, Hop Harvest Ale gives you a familiar pale ale type taste, but with a nice floral accented aftertaste. There is no bitterness, likely because of the wheat influence. There is no malty overtone to this brew, just a nicely balanced hop-intense ale.
If you’re a hop fan, please check out this brew at your local pub or grocery store. Bridgeport has again hit the nail on the head and you won’t forget this beer.