Fresh Hops Season!
Fall has definitely arrived here in the Tetons. The days are getting shorter, the warm colors are taking over the trees and underbrush, and we have had a couple of nights below freezing. The smell of wood fire stoves drift over town in the mornings and evenings and the hunters start hunting. (There is a strong correlation between Snake River Brewing Brewers and a love of hunting…)
In addition to all of that Fall-related nonsense, Fresh Hop beer season is upon us! [Note: fresh hop = wet hop. “fresh” meaning the hops are fresh from the field pre-processing and “wet” meaning the hops have not been dried. All hops are technically “fresh” within a year or 2 of harvest as long as they are stored properly. We prefer the term “fresh hop” but it is synonymous with “wet hop.”] Hop harvesting begins in the Fall and is a 24/7 operation at most hop farms as they try to pick every last hop at its peak. Most of these resinous, wet hops are immediately dried to preserve their freshness as hops can start to loose flavor and aroma in as little as 24 hours after they are picked!
Our hops came directly from Highwire Hop Farms in Western Colorado and our malt came from Mountain Malt, which is just across the Tetons in Idaho. Both of them are very small, craft producers of the best ingredients available. Mountain Malt grows the barley that they malt! This years Fresh Hop IPA will be named “Wydaco,” which is a brilliant combination of Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado! It was just Dry Hopped yesterday and it already tastes and smells delicious! It is pretty well attenuated so will be dry and crisp and hoppy and ethereal. Can’t wait for everyone to try it! Cheers!