Deschutes Brewery Goes Hop Trippin’
“We only get one chance each year,” said Gary Fish, Founder of Deschutes Brewery, as his team of brewers hurried to unload a truck full of fresh, strikingly aromatic hops. That one chance is the opportunity to make beer using just-picked wet hop flowers rather than the dried hops usually added for aroma and flavor.
“Our beers are hop-accentuated,” added brewer Jimmy Seifrit, “and fresh hops have additional flavors that are lost during the drying process.
To get those flavors, in early September Seifrit and other Deschutes brewers drove a truck across the mountains to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, one of the handful of places on earth where hops are grown. They pulled into Sodbuster Farms at the height of the harvest as the pickers pulled down the 25-foot vines loaded with bright green, cone-like hop flowers.
Most of the hops go straight to kiln for drying, but the Deschutes crew collected over 4,000 pounds of Crystal hops, noted for their floral citrusy flavor. They packed them carefully to prevent crushing, and started back toward Bend. Seifrit called the brewery to fire up the brew kettles so the wort would be ready. “We need to get the fresh hops into the beer as soon as we get back to Bend,” he said.
As they were unloaded, Fish and Brewmaster Larry Sidor grabbed a handful of the hops. They broke open the cones, cupped their hands, and inhaled deeply. “These are aromas you just don’t get in dry hops,” said Sidor.
“Beer is an agricultural product,” Fish added, “and harvest time is when we get to celebrate what we do all year.”
Deschutes Brewery’s fresh hop pale ale, called Hop Trip, will be available October 1st, in 22-ounce bottles and on draft as part of the popular Bond Street Series.
DESCHUTES BREWERY, INC.
901 SW SIMPSON AVE
BEND, OREGON 97702
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