Monday, October 15, 2012

Fresh Hop-a-Palooza

It was a whole new take on fresh hop beers Concordia Ale House offered last week. Instead of choosing your selection of fresh hop beers off a list, for $12 a tray of 10 unmarked beers was presented. In this way there was no opportunity to be influenced by the name of the brewery or whatever you may have heard about a specific beer. It was just your taste buds and the beer.

Of the 10 beers provided the clear favorite in my book was #5 with #8 coming in second. Mag preferred #7 with #1 being his runner up. Although I couldn't be for certain I was pretty sure that none of the 10 tasted familiar. Going on the last day of the Palooza meant that I only had to wait about 12 hours to find the results waiting in my inbox, a timeframe when the beers were still quite fresh in my mind.

F->A->S->T-> F->O->R->W->A->R->D->

My favorite also turned out to be the crowd favorite, Ninkasi Total Crystalation, a fresh hop version of Total Domination. New Belgium Hop Trip X took 2nd, Rogue Oregasmic took 3rd and Mag's favorite, Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere came in 4th. Reviewing the full list I think my initial impression that I hadn't had any of them previously was correct. With any luck, even though fresh hop season is winding down, I do hope to get a few more pints of Ninkasi's deliciousness!

If you attended Fresh Hop-a-Palooza how did your favorite stack up? Was is something you'd had before?

Note: Concordia included a couple of corrections along with the results visual. #10 was actually New Belgium Trip X, not VII and Ninkasi's beer name is correctly spelled Crystalation.


  1. My favorite was also Ninkasi. Oddly, #10 was my least favorite - in the 'put the sample glass to the side so I didn't drink any more of it' realm. I only had Ninkasi at the Hood River FH fest - now I want to find it in town!

  2. I didn't mind #10, but agreed with Mag's observation that it tasted like it had spent time in a barrel and it most certainly had a boozy aroma. My least favorite - it was a toss up between #4 & #9.

  3. OK, I know I geek out on fresh hop beers too much, but I must protest. What the hell is wrong with the people at Concordia? It's like they don't have a clue about the beer they're serving.

    1. Sierra Nevada's Southern Hemisphere uses only DRIED hops: here's a quote from SN's own description of the beer: "Like our Celebration Ale, the fresh hops in this beer are dried right after being picked". Oh great, DRIED FRESH hops. (See also my rant on the subject from a few years ago).

    2. It's news to me if OREgasmic is a fresh hop beer. Nothing indicates that it is. Now, Rogue's Chatoe Wet Hop was mighty fine this year, and it is a fresh hop beer.

    3. It's "Chasin' Freshies", not "Little Freshies". Unless they have a special one-off keg no one has heard of.

    4. Which Hale's Fresh Hop? If they were pouring Harvest -- which is a delightful beer -- then I am sad to inform them that it is also made with only dried hops, though at times Hale's has labeled it as a fresh hop beer.

    On the other hand, not too surprising Ninkasi won. Total Crystallation is a fabulous fresh hop beer.