Labor Day weekend is upon us, which means beer drinkers across the land will crack open those last shandies and wheats and crisp pale ales of summer and move into the warm embrace of fall’s Oktoberfests and pumpkin beers. Well, that’s what most might be doing. Here at CBB, we know the early days of fall bring something much more glorious than all of those traditional autumnal seasonals — fresh hopped beers.
We probably write that lead every year, but seriously, it never stops being true.
Full Sail, for one, knows what we are talking about. Located in the heartland of hops, every year the Full Sail brewers wait with thirsty anticipation for hop harvest and the chance to celebrate by brewing fresh hop beers. When the hops are at their peak, the Full Sail brewers truck out to the hop fields to collect the aromatic bounty. These seasonal wonders will go from field to brewhouse within a matter of hours and the magic begins.
This year, Full Sail celebrates the season’s first hops with Fresh Hop Pilsner which showcases the Perle hop variety.
“This beer highlights the brewer’s art as well as nature’s gift,” said Full Sail Executive Brewmaster, Jamie Emmerson. The hops were locally grown at Sodbuster Farms, which is a Salmon Safe certified hop grower. Fresh Hop Pilsner is a hop lover’s delight, the freshly harvested Perle hops impart floral and sweet fruit notes to this special edition Pilsner. The beer presents a deep golden hue and white foamy head with a delicate floral and spicy nose. A pronounced malt body and slight sweetness complement flavors of mango, papaya, and spice that end with a crisp hop finish. Combined, this makes for a refreshing late summer brew.
“As brewers we are always reliant on nature’s bounty, from the quality of the barley harvest to how the hops weathered through the Oregon summer. But no moment brings this relationship to sharper focus than our fresh hop beers. When we brew with fresh hops, timing is everything,” Emmerson added. “There’s such a small window of time to take advantage of these fresh hops. We need to get them into the brew within hours of picking while their oils and resins are still at their peak as there are distinct flavors and aromas that you can only get brewing with fresh hops.”
Full Sail’s Fresh Hop Pilsner is part of Full Sail’s Brewmaster Reserve series. It will be available in limited quantities August to October on draft throughout the Pacific Northwest and at Full Sail’s Brew Pub in Hood River. This special offering will also be available at various fresh hop beer festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest including the Hood River Hops Festival, the Yakima Fresh Hop Festival & Portland Fresh Hop Festival.