Fresh hop beer comprises a category of beers that utilize the “green” hops of the yearly harvest. Fresh" and "wet" refer to the same thing. It means freshly harvested, not yet dried, whole cone hops. These hops are harvested and shipped the same day they are picked to the brewery where the brewmaster eagerly waits to get them into the brew kettle while their oils and resins are still at their peak.
Adding fresh hops to a recipe produces a character in beer that cannot be duplicated at any time other than during the hop harvest. Why go to all this trouble? First and foremost: the flavor. Wet hops have a different taste than kiln-dried hops. The base notes are similar—floral, bitter, spicy, tangy—but there's less full-throttle intensity, and the fresh hops add a vibrancy, a fineness, a definition, and a chlorophyll-driven energy that you don't get in standard-hopped beers.
Part of a wet hop beer's beauty is the challenge of making it and you need to know something about hops to understand this beer. Hops are the seed cones of the plant species Humulus lupulus, and they're actually very delicate flowers. Hops are really fragile, and they don't survive long after being cut, which is why almost all hops are dried immediately after harvest, to preserve the valuable oils and resins that add so much savor and tang to beer. Most hops used by brewers are in this dried or pellet form.
There's only one moment you can make this kind of beer. Even in the dynamic world of brewing there are few situations where you capture fleeting flavors. Fleeting indeed. Even though most hops are harvested in August and September, it still takes a few weeks to brew the beers and release them. And these beers don't last long either. They're meant to be drunk within weeks of being released, which puts their season squarely in early autumn.
BC Hop Company Ltd., the BC Craft Brewers Guild and our generous sponsors are proud partners in bringing up to 30 of the province’s BEST craft breweries, and their fresh hopped beer together in this one of a kind event. BC Hop Company is proud to be providing fresh Sumas Prairie grown hops to all participating brewers attending this year- you can't get much more "fresh" and local than that!
The BC Craft Brewers Guild represents craft brewers from all over BC. Some are small and others smaller, but they all brew flavorful local beer with passion and dedication. The mission of the guild is to support the ongoing creation and discovery of truly great BC Craft Beer.
BC Hop Company Ltd. is dedicated to supporting family farms through the world class processing and distribution of high quality BC grown hops to brewers, culinary experts, and hop heads everywhere!