Hop Heads Toast 2008 Crop at 'Tastival'
Nearly 1,400 hop lovers converged on Eugene for their last chance to taste Oregon’s 2008 crop of fresh hop beers at the Eugene Fresh Hop Beer Tastival, October 25.
The event, sponsored by Eugene’s breweries, Oregon Brewers Guild and Oregon Bounty, was the last of three fresh hop beer events held throughout the state, celebrating Oregon’s hop harvest. Attendance for the second-year event was nearly double the previous year’s mark.
Fresh hop beers are brewed just once a year, at harvest time, when brewers travel to the hop yards to gather hop cones, still wet with oils, straight from the bine. The beers are often brewed within hours of picking, giving them a more earthy, floral hop flavor and aroma.
At least 75 of the state’s breweries lie within 100 miles of hop fields, and the annual harvest presents the perfect opportunity for Oregon brewers to demonstrate their unique proximity to one of America’s premiere hop growing regions. But it’s not only Willamette Valley breweries who have caught fresh hop fever. The Eugene fest included beers from Beer Valley Brewing in Ontario, Ore., Ashland’s Standing Stone Brewery and Klamath Falls’ Mia and Pia’s.
Rogue featured a fresh hop ale brewed with hops from Rogue Farms in Independence, Ore. Rogue’s Independence Hop Ale is a hearty pale ale brewed with Willamette and Centennial hops.
Eugene City Brewery also used Rogue Farms hops in its Track Town McArdle’s Hammer, named for the mayor of Independence, a former University of Oregon track and field standout. It is a pale ale showcasing fresh Willamette hops.
Celebrating its second century, Rogue Ales is an Artisan Varietal Brewery founded in Oregon in 1988, as one of America’s first 50 microbreweries. Rogue has 550+ awards for taste and quality and is available nationally and in 20 countries.
Eugene City Brewery is and Artisan Varietal Brewery founded in Oregon in 2004. Track Town Ales have won 30 awards for taste and quality.