Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fresh Hop Summit

Roscoe's Fresh Hop Summit, starting Friday afternoon and presumably running until the kegs have been drained, provided a nice follow up to last week's Fresh Hop Fest at Oaks Park. Smaller in scale but with the added bonus of beers being delivered to my waiting hands by the friendly, efficient servers Roscoe's offered up 14 fresh hop beers plus more in reserve once the first kegs up had blown.

Not surprisingly there were some beers that had made an appearance at Oaks Park. However a couple of those I didn't have last week and took the opportunity to at Roscoe's. One was a hit - Ninkasi's Smells Like Purple - and one was a miss - Logsdon's Fresh Hop Saison. I purposely didn't get the Saison at Oaks Park as they were asking for three tickets ($3) for the sample. Whatever fresh hop flavor may have been in there was overpowered by the Saison characteristics and even Roscoe's more reasonable $2.50/5 oz was expensive for a beer I found to be a disappointment.

Smells Like Purple, a beer that intrigued me with its name but one I didn't get to before the lines at Oaks Park got long, was a surprisingly good brew. Slightly sweet in both aroma and flavor from the Meridian hops I can't disagree that this might be what purple, or at least violet, might smell like. It competed with Amnesia's Mother Plucker, one I had enjoyed last year, as one of the two that tied for my second favorite of the Summit.
The one that stole my heart though was a repeat from last week. After being enamored with it at Oaks Park I had to order it just to see if it was as good as I remembered. I was thrilled to find it just as delicious as I had remembered and so The Commons' Fresh Hop Farmhouse retains the honor of "favorite fresh hop" in my book this year. The season isn't over quite yet, however and with Concordia Ale House doing their own version of a fresh hop tap takeover there's still a chance (slim as it may be) I'll find another that tops it.

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