Sunday, September 30, 2007

Guest Blogging From Portland

No, this is not part 2 of my Portland recap, but this e-mail I got from a friend in Portland was just so well-written that I had to post it:

Well, it's starting to rain again, so I guess we'll see less sun for the next, oh, NINE months.

But this time of year has its reward: fresh hop beers. I hadn't heard of such a thing when we first got here, but now I await it eagerly every fall. The idea is, the brewer goes out to some farmer's place and gets some hops right after they're harvested, and throws them into the beer the very same day. It's a distinctively different taste, you get the nice bitter hop flavor, but also something herbal or vegetable-y on top of that.

I got caught off guard this year, Roots was the first place I saw it, Tuesday night when Dave and I headed over there for some darts. Their "Hop-o-pottamus" (what a name) was very much in character, it was one of their hearty, strong ales, it might remind you of Roots Red. Good stuff.

The next day Bridgeport was scheduled to release their "Hop Harvest," so I took a chance and walked over there for lunch. They weren't going to serve it until 4, but luckily I overheard one of the employees talking about it to someone, and when I pestered him about it he took me upstairs and gave me a small sample. From that sample, my impression was that it was very competently done, but maybe not quite as tasty as what they had last year. They took a chance this year, and made a stronger (7%) ale, almost an IPA. I'll give it another chance and see if it tastes better in a bigger glass. Lee, you might look around Austin for this, they're selling some in 22 oz. bottles for the first time.

Well, since I had two days in a row of fresh hop beers, I went to Laurelwood's NW location yesterday (Thursday) to see if they had their version yet, but was disappointed. Apparently they do have it on the eastside.

Today I headed over to the Rogue brewpub for lunch, and they had just tapped their "Hop Heaven". This was much more classic than Bridgeport's, and I'll probably try to soak up more of it while it lasts. Maybe you can even get bottles of this outside Oregon?

So, to paraphrase Meatloaf, 3 out of 4 ain't bad. Next week I'll pop into the New Old Lompoc to check theirs out (that's the same brewery as Hedge House), and Lucky Lab should have theirs pretty soon. I may even break down and go to Rock Bottom, since they have one on tap right now. Next month there is a mini-festival of fresh hop beers at the McMenamin's in Troutdale, I'll see if I can scare up a posse for that. Deschutes (Bend, OR) makes one called "Hop Trip" every year, with any luck I'll find that on tap somewhere.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Background on fresh hop beers and the upcoming festival: