Fresh Hop Season in PDX
The late summer and early fall hop harvest is greeted by beer lovers with the glee found in children opening their birthday presents. Thanks to the preponderance of hop farms in the Pacific Northwest, this area has become a mecca for those fond of hoppy beer.
For those not familiar with fresh hop beer, this beer is made with undried hopes that were harvested within a 24 hour span. Most hops are kiln dried and then refrigerated for us over an entire year or even longer. In this process, the lupulin oils dry up and concentrate the bitterness. With fresh hops, one can taste subtle, fresh, green and grassy notes.
Fresh Hop Pop-Up Beer Fest
Check out a range of these free hop brews at the 2nd annual Fresh Hop Pop-Up Beer Fest. Presented by Burnside Brewing Co., Portland Beer Week and Willamette Week this event runs from September 20th to 24th at 7th and NE Burnside Ave. This outdoor, partially covered beer garden will feature ten rotating taps along with an Oktoberfest-style beer garden food menu of discounted specials from Burnside Brewing. Check their website for a full listing of the day’s taps. Fresh hop beers will cost $3 for a half pint and $5 for a full pint. There’s no charge for this all-ages event but be sure to bring cash as cards will not be accepted.
Portland Fresh Hops Fest
For a larger scale festival fun, check out the Portland Fresh Hops Fest. This 14th annual event will be held at Oaks Amusement Park (7805 SE Oaks Park Way) on September 29th and 30th. Nearly 70 Oregon breweries be offering their unique wares.
Among the highlights include StormBreaker Brewing’s Fresh Hop House Martell. This Fresh Hop NE Pale Ale (6.0% ABV, 50 IBU) is a Citra dry-hopped pal made with 200 pounds of fresh hop Mosaic that produces an aroma of grapefruit and papaya. Other beers worth sampling include: Breakside Brewery-Fresh Hop Cascade Wanderlust, Crux Fermentation Project-Dr. Jack, Double Mountain Brewery-Killer Green, Ecliptic Brewing-Altair Fresh Hop Pale Ale, Great Notion Brewing-Juice Jr. (Wet Hop), and pFriem Family Brewers-Mosaic Fresh Hop Pale.
Urban German Grill and HOTLIPS Pizza will offer food on-site. Also, Portland U-Brew will offer a homebrew demonstration on Saturday from noon until 5pm.
This festival will run from 5pm to 9pm on Friday and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday. Minors are permitted on Saturday until 5pm. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome.
Admission to the Portland Fresh Hops Fest is free. Drinking packages cost $20 for a souvenir tasting glass and eight drink tickets and can be purchased online. Additional tasting tickets will be sold on-site for $2 each or four for $5. Event parking is free.