Review: Deschutes Brewery’s Fresh Hop Tasting

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:

Deschutes Brewery Fresh Hop Tasting beer listI’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.

Enjoying a fresh hop beer

Lineup of fresh hop beers

Action at the bar

Two different fresh hop beers

The dessert platter

Fresh hop beers lined up for drinking

A trio of fresh hop beers

This is what it's all about

3 Responses to Review: Deschutes Brewery’s Fresh Hop Tasting

  1. Your wife says:

    Well, we all know how much fun I had there. :P

    To Sharon/Deschutes Brewery:

    We know that this was a brewery event beer tasting, but not everyone who attends drinks beer. Yes, the beer was flowing, and why couldn’t whomever asked for a glass of wine (and would have paid any price!) have one poured. I think there was one other having a non-alcoholic drink (Pepsi, ICK!). I do like one glass of wine with dinner.

    Everytime I have been to the Mountain Room (no this was not my first time), there have been wine bottles and wine offered to me (even when I had the brewery tour! and the Chocolate dinner).

    The food did not compare to the Chocolate dinner, which is the only other Mountain Room event I can compare and I know the difference in price and plated dinner had to do with it.

    No, I wouldn’t consider attending again, unless I had a flask of wine as Paul suggested. Sorry Jon.

  2. Jen says:

    The beer tasting looks like it was a lot of fun! The dessert looks great… too bad there wasn’t a nice, chewy stout to go along with the chocolate.

  3. Simone says:

    And here are a few more visuals for everybody who wasn’t able to attend the tasting:

    http://emeraldbayphoto.com/blog/2008/10/mmmmm-beer.html

    or

    http://emeraldbayphoto.com/portfolio/deschutesbrewery_1