Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hop Trip

Hop Trip is a Pale Ale by the Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon. Hop Trip is freshly hopped, meaning the hops are added to the beer within hours of being picked.

The terms "fresh hop" and "wet hop" are often used interchangeably, but they can mean two different processes. Hop Trip would be considered a wet hop, as the hops are not dried and stored between field and kettle.

Wet hopped beers can only be made during the hop harvest season in late summer/early fall. This is why you may see a bunch of them at the stores during this time. They should be drank ASAP as hop flavor does not age well and gets weaker over time. If you see a wet hopped beer in March, chances are they are lying or its too old.

Wet hops can taste different from their dried and pelleted descendants. Hop flavor is delicate and changes quickly, especially the favorite hops of the West Coast - cascade.

We picked this up at Taylor's Market in Sacramento. It has an ABV of 5.5%

The beer pours a copper-orange color with an average size, bubbly white head that leaves nice lacings. The aroma is assertive with a variety of citrus hop flavors and strong sweet pear or peaches. The taste has a light malt sweetness backed from start to finish by an assertive mix of the peach, pear, citrus hops with notes of grapefruit hops. The finish is smooth, sweet with a lingering, pleasant, gentle bitter bite. The body is light and well carbonated.

Overall, I really like this beer. The fresh hops add a great layer of hop complexity that is hard to find. This is a Must Have It. I've been seeing a lot of fresh or wet hop beers. I have yet to try many of them, but Hop Trip sets a high bar.

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