Wet-hopping is a growing trend among brewers, post-hop harvest, and now brewers are sending these fresh concoctions out into the wild. The latest offering comes from Victory Brewing Co. with its Harvest Ale.
Harvest Ale is Victory’s first wet-hopped ale to be bottled. To brew this unique ale, Victory had a whopping six tons of fresh hops hauled in refrigerated trucks from Yakima Valley, Wash., to its breweries in Downingtown and Parkesburg, Pa.
Fresh-off-the-vine hop cones are susceptible to mold and the spoiling effects of oxygen due to the full moisture content, requiring them to be added to the brewing process as quickly as possible. Fresh hops are also heavy and expensive to transport, therefore, very few East Coast breweries take on the wet-hopping process. Even fewer breweries control production to the sole use of gently dried, whole flower hops throughout the entire year, as Victory does. As a result, Victory is one of the only breweries on the East Coast that can bring the distinctive, fresh, top-line West Coast flavor to the east.
Available for a limited-time only, Victory’s Harvest Ale is all about the hops. Infused with the resinous natural hop oils that give impressions of fresh fruit flavors like apricot, grapefruit and citrus, this ale leads to a very juicy taste, while completing satisfaction with a sustained and bracing bitterness to the finish.
“We are thrilled to push new frontiers in our use of whole flower hops, now to create this conveniently packaged nectar of wet-hopped impact,” said Victory’s President and Brewmaster Bill Covaleski. “Despite the risks and unpredictability of this production process, the hard work and determination of our brewing team led to a Harvest Ale that is a direct reflection of our enduring commitment to quality.”