I recently mentioned four events on the horizon that featured a critical mass of fresh hop beers, possibly the only way to have any chance at trying a good percentage of the dizzying number available right now. While I didn't make it up to Concordia Ale House for their Hop-a-Palooza the week prior, this past weekend I hit up back-to-back fresh hop events starting with Roscoe's Fresh Hop Summit on Friday, followed by the Fresh Hop Beer Fest at Oaks Park on Saturday.
Between taster trays and tasting tickets I personally ordered about 20 beers. But since I went to both events with friends I had quite a few more tastes out of others' glasses. Reviewing the lists from those events it seems like the Pale Ale is the most used base beer this year. Being someone that prefers an IPA over a Pale Ale most days of the year one could guess that I wouldn't be blown away by most of them. One would be correct. That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy trying them, it just means that overall most of them were just OK. There were however three of them that rose to the top.
In no particular order, they were Gigantic Brewing Sodbusted Simcoe, The Commons Fresh Hop Myrtle and Logsdon Farmhouse Ales Citra Fresh Hop Seizoen. All three come from breweries that generally impress me and these beers reaffirm that.
Gigantic's Sodbusted is a 6.8% ABV IPA with surprise, surprise Simcoe hops. It has an amazing aroma and being an IPA base from a brewery that excels at them, it's really a no-brainer that this one hit it out of the park for me.
Myrtle (pictured above) is a Farmhouse Ale and one of The Commons' spring seasonals. Not an obvious choice in my mind to be a base beer to brew with fresh hops, the citrus and sourness from the Lactobacillus strains work very well with the Meridian hops.
Logsdon Ales also chose a less-than-obvious beer for their fresh hop offering, Seizoen. While Citra hops were the primary ones used, eight other varieties supported the conversion of their flagship beer into an even better version of itself.
Since I know you've been drinking at least a few fresh hop beers, too, which ones have made your taste buds sing?