Fresh hops

Fresh hops flowers

Hops is harvested in early September. It is usually dried in kilns and often pressed into pellets to prevent it from spoiling soon after harvest. But for some lucky brewers who are close enough to the hops fields, fresh, or wet, hops can be used to brew a very special beer.

While the drying process preserves the hops, it also causes the cones to lose some of the essential oils that give hops, and ultimately beer, that special fragrance and taste. Two Northwestern brewers, Sierra Nevada and Great Divide, take advantage of their proximity to the hops fields of Washington and brew a limited edition wet hops beer.

Musings Over a Pint has a couple links to videos of these beers being made. Unfortunately, neither video can be embedded so you’ll have to go to the Denver Post to see the Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale being made, and Sierra Nevada to see the Harvest Ale being made.

The Sierra Nevada video is gorgeous and it made my mouth water. I’ve got to try that beer!