Every year, just as September draws to a close and autumn begins, brewers across the Northwest get the call that they’ve been waiting for all season—it’s hop harvest time! Come get your damn hops!
And so starts the annual pilgrimage of brewers to the Willamette Valley and Yakima, Wash., to gather the recently harvested hops that will, later that day, be added to various fresh hop beers. Deschutes, 10 Barrel and Three Creeks already have fresh hop beers on tap and other local brewers are likely to soon follow. If you want them en masse, you’ll find a number of them at the Sisters Fresh Hop Festival on Saturday, despite the Pole Creek Fire.
Wade Underwood, co-owner of Three Creeks Brewing and the organizer of the local hop fest, is giddy about the prospect of so many fresh hop beers in one place.
“The Fort George Fresh Hop Vertex IPA—I’m really excited about that one,” said Underwood.
Fort George Brewery in Astoria is one of 11 breweries offering fresh hop deliciousness on Saturday. Among the local breweries on the docket are Deschutes, Crux, Three Creeks, Cascade Lakes and McMenamins.
Underwood said Three Creeks will bring the “Cone Licker,” a single-hop beer made from Willamette Valley Perle hops. And for the first time ever, the Sisters brewery will also offer a fresh-hop red ale that features Amarillo and Challenger hops from Yakima.
Fresh hop season really is the best time of the year.
Keep your peepers peeled, as you’ll soon find the early-autumn beers on tap all over town. After you’ve spent the week sampling the local offerings, get to one of the many other Oregon fresh hop festivals kicking off next weekend—the Sisters event is just one of several happening in the near future.
Photo taken by Scout Seventeen.
Sisters Fresh Hop Festival
12 to 8 p.m., Sept. 29, Sisters Village Green
$5 entry (includes pint glass),
$1 tasters (four ounces or so)
Fort George Brewery
Hood River Hops Fest
12 to 9 p.m., Sept. 29, downtown Hood River
Portland Fresh Hops Fest
12 to 8 p.m., Oct. 5-6,
Oaks Amusement Park