Yes, I’m way behind on posting this review, considering the Brewery‘s Tasting was back on October 18th! Too much stuff going on… anyway, the Fresh Hop Tasting was a beer event and showcase for seven (!) fresh hop beers that were all brewed by Deschutes. That’s pretty impressive for one brewery, though at least two (possibly more) were brewed by their new-ish Portland Pub.
This was my first "tasting" event that I’d been to, not counting the Chocolate Beer Pairing Dinner which was more of a formal affair. At these Tastings, their Mountain Room is opened up to a more "mix and mingle" type format, and the beer flows freely. Food is served up buffet-style and it’s all you can eat. For $35 it’s worth it.
(They don’t serve wine, however. Beer, along with pop and water only.)
Beer is definitely the highlight. Here’s the list of what they were pouring:
I’m loving this whole fresh hop trend, so you know I had to at least try every one of these. Here are my notes, in order as they appear there (not necessarily the order I tried them in):
Harvest Moon: Spicy. Not strong on the nose; earthy, light in the mouth.
Fairweather: Light, toasted wheat, not what you’d expect for a golden or fresh hop… Hops are there but subtle and well-done.
Mt. Angel: Malty, Old Ale-ish, bitter but fresh hop character isn’t as pronounced.
Hop Trip: Still one of the best, and no different here. Sweet, hoppy, well-balanced. [Note: I have a review coming soon.]
Goschie’s: Green, earthy, almost bright.
Fresh Hopped Mirror Pond: Some of the bright floral notes of the "wet hopped" version, but just not as prominent. Nicely bitter. Not nearly as aromatic.
"Wet Hopped" Mirror Pond: Really good—full aroma, green, resin, twiggy. In the mouth it really pops—very bright and green and zings.
The "Wet Hopped" Mirror Pond was by far the standout of the evening, a really excellent example of what you can do with the style. Hop Trip is a close second, largely because they’ve had several years now to fine-tune the recipe and I think they’ve really got it dialed in.
The food was good, too, and there was a fair amount of people there. For me, it would definitely be worth it to attend another Tasting.
Now, the pictures. These aren’t every single one I took, only the ones that were the best. Hopefully they’ll give you an idea of what it was like.