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.