I just posted the **final** line-up of fresh hop beers (& other beverages) that we will be serving at Fresh to Death next Saturday. Not to brag or anything, but it is a stellar list!
First of all, check out the sheer size of it: there are 28 beers, 2 ciders and 1 non-alcoholic kombucha for a total of 31 fresh hop options to choose from. Obviously, no one is going to be able to taste them all (and we definitely don’t encourage you to try!) but between you and a couple or three buddies you definitely could check them all off on Untappd.
The next thing I want to highlight is the variety of styles: this isn’t just about IPAs (although of course there are lots of hop bombs on the list). You can see how wet hops taste in a Belgian Blonde, courtesy of Dageraad Brewing, or in a Wild Pale Ale thanks to Category 12.
How about in a black currant Saison? Well, Howl Brewing has brewed one of those with some local fresh hops. Clay at the Moon Under Water is experimenting by adding fresh hops to a steam beer, and Old Yale has two creative brews: a Brut IPA and a golden ale.
Sour beer lovers can focus on the Fresh Hop Sour from Strathcona Brewing and Twin City’s Tangent – Fresh Hop Cashmere & Tangerine Sour. Both will be very tasty, I’m sure. (If you haven’t heard about Twin City, that brewery is located in Port Alberni, and in my opinion, it is one of BC’s hidden gems, and well worth a road trip Up Island to check it out.)
Phillips’ newest creation is called First Crush Fresh Hop Pale Ale with Grape Must (they’ll also be pouring Green Reaper IPA). And Duncan’s Small Block Brewing is getting very creative with a beer made with rye bread as the fermentation base called Rye Cycled IPA.
Of course, if you are a hophead pure and simple then you will be very excited about the fact that Driftwood will be pouring the 10th annual edition of Sartori Harvest IPA, the beer that started the whole fresh hop craze in BC when it was first released back in 2009. There will be several other classic Wet Hop IPAs, including Mount Arrowsmith’s Harvest IPA, Torchlight’s Broken Paddle Wet Hopped IPA, and Chrono Wet Hop IPA from Fuggles & Warlock.
Personally, I am especially excited to taste the 1000 Mile IPA from Wheelhouse Brewing. This beer has a lot of miles on it. First of all, its brewers had to drive all the way home to Prince Rupert following the Great Canadian Beer Festival earlier in September. They stopped to pick up wet hops in Chilliwack and then hightailed it 1400km home to Prince Rupert where they brewed the beer. Next, I begged them to see if there was any way we could get a keg of it here, and lucky for all of us, it turns out the brewer’s father-in-law was visiting. He agreed to pack a keg in his car and drive it all way to Victoria!
There are other great stories, too, including Red Arrow’s Sunset Empire, which was brewed with local hops brought in from the community. Talk about a great way to taste the flavour of the Cowichan Valley.
Clearly, there is something for every beer lover at Fresh to Death!
Fresh to Death: Victoria’s Harvest Celebration of Fresh Hop Beers
Saturday, October 6, 2pm to 6pm
The Roundhouse at Bayview Place, 253 Esquimalt Rd