Fresh Hop Releases From Schooner Brewing & Belltown Brewing

Man, I love living in the Northwest – home to the greatest hop growing region in the nation and possibly the World.  I can’t get enough of this year’s crop of Fresh Hop/Wet Hop beers, so it’s a good thing just about every craft tap list I see these days is packed with Fresh Hop/Wet Hop beers.

Does that mean we’ve had enough?  Never.  I’ve sampled nearly 30 different Fresh Hop/Wet Hop beers already this year, and I’m still ready for more.  Anticipating the continued demand for Fresh Hop beers this Season, Schooner Brewing and Belltown Brewing are preparing their Fresh Hop releases for later this week, featuring El Dorado and Mosaic hops respectively.

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Fresh Hop Season Is Arriving Early At Two Beers Brewing

Each year, as Seattle’s Summer starts to wane, our palates grow eager with anticipation of one of the best Seasonal craft beer styles for hopheads: Fresh Hop Ales.  Ordinarily, Fresh Hop Ale season doesn’t get started until late August or even early September, as the hop harvest gets under way.  This year, however, hops at Puterbaugh Farms in Yakima Valley were ready early thanks to ideal growing conditions.

As a result, Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor), always first out of the gate each year with their Fresh Hop IPA, is bringing it to you even earlier than usual.  In just two days, on Friday, August 3rd, come down to Two Beers Brewing for the release of their 2018 Fresh Hop IPA.

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Two Beers Brewing Gives EVO IPA A new Look And New Flavors

I’ve been following Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) almost since they first opened and I think the first beer I ever had from them was their flagship EVO (Evolutionary) IPA.  Loaded with Simcoe (one of my favorites), Amarillo and Centennial hops from the Yakima Valley, then dry-hopped with more Simcoe and Columbus, EVO is still a solid IPA.

However, ever since Two Beers came out with more IPAs like their Wonderland Trail Double IPA, Mango Passionfruit IPA and new The Other Coast Hazy IPA, EVO doesn’t get quite as much attention as it used to.  Two Beers has noticed this so they’ve decided to shake things up a bit and turn EVO into an IPA that will be constantly changing throughout 2018, utilizing new, experimental hop varieties from Yakima Valley. It seems quite fitting that a beer named ‘evolutionary’ is now evolving.

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Enter Bale Breaker’s #FreshOffTheSlopes Instagram Photo Challenge

Since you’re here, I’m going to assume you’re a craft beer fan, right?  Great.  Now, do you also have an Instagram account? (If not, it’s easy to sign up free at Instagram.com).  Next, by any chance are you a fan of ski season and hitting the slopes?  Finally, do you enjoy winning gift cards that can net you free craft beer schwag and lift tickets?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you’ll want to get in on Bale Breaker Brewing Company‘s #FRESHOFFTHESLOPES Instagram Photo challenge.  All you have to do is follow White Pass and Bale Breaker on Instagram, snap a picture that includes Bale Breaker & White Pass and post it to Instagram with the tag #freshofftheslopes.  Each week (from Jan. 1st thru Jan. 31st) five winners will be selected to receive a $25 Bale Breaker Gift Card and a $25 White Pass Gift Card. Then, those winners are eligible for the Escape to High Camp Grand Prize Package (details below).

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Leota Mae IPA Joins Bale Breaker’s Year-Round Lineup

Bale Breaker Brewing Company brews some pretty tasty beers.  You’re probably familiar with their popular Field 41 Pale Ale, Topcutter IPA or Bottomcutter IPA, since these three beers are part of their ‘Everyday’ (year-round) lineup.  They also, of course, brewed the official beer for Seattle Beer Week 2017: Fresh Off The Farm IPA.

Now, Bale Breaker is adding a fourth beer to their Everyday series: Leota Mae IPA.  It was named for the great-grandmother of one of Bale Breakers owners, and was created to honor the history of planting and harvesting hops in the Yakima valley, where Leota Mae used to work out in the hop fields.

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Fresh Hop Season Kicks Off Next Week At Two Beers Brewing

Summer is waning and Fall is drawing closer each day.  That must mean it’s Fresh Hop time!  Each year, when it’s time for the hop harvest up in Yakima Valley, many local craft breweries prepare to brew their annual Fresh Hop beers – loaded up with fresh-picked hops right off the vine.

Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) prides themselves on always being the first local brewery each year to debut their Fresh Hop IPA, and this year is no different.  They held their annual hop picking party, and brewed their Fresh Hop IPA back on August 9th.  By next week it will be ready to serve, and Two Beers is welcoming it with a Fresh Hop IPA release party on Wednesday, August 23rd.

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Bale Breaker Announces Sesiones del Migrante Mango IPA

Just last week I told you about the Harvest Collaboration Series form Bale Breaker Brewing Company, in which they paired with four different craft breweries to create the beers for the series.  They’ll have staggered releases from August through October.  Now, while they’re still in the collaborative mood, Bale Breaker is at it again with the upcoming release of Sesiones del Migrante Mango IPA in six-packs.

Sesiones del Migrante is a series of beers that Bale Breaker has brewed in conjunction with Mexican and American breweries, in a collaboration that spans 5 breweries and 2 countries.  Created in celebration of the Mexican migrant workers who travel to the Yakima Valley each year to help harvest the precious hops for all those wonderful craft beers we all enjoy, it’s due to arrive both on tap and in cans on September 7th and will see distribution throughout Washington and Northern Idaho.

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Bale Breaker announces the Harvest Collaboration Series

Collaborations are all the rage these days.  I recently told you about the Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream Collaboration Pack and this year’s 3-Way IPA from Fort George Brewing (plus Great Notion Brewing and Reuben’s Brews) has been flying off shelves so fast that it’s been a bit difficult to find this year.

Now, Bale Breaker Brewing Company is ready to get in on the action.  They’ve partnered with Georgetown Brewing, Founders Brewing, Cloudburst Brewing and Pinthouse Pizza & Brewpub to create the Harvest Series Collaboration Series.  The beers have staggered release date from August through October.

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Join Schooner Exact For A Hop Field Trip This September

Each year, as Fall approaches in the Northwest, it’s hop harvest time.  That can only mean one thing: Fresh Hop IPAs are coming.  Most beers are brewed using kilned or dried hops, usually in the form of compressed hop pellets.  Fresh Hop or Wet Hop beers, on the other hand, utilize fresh, un-kilned hops straight off the vine.  This allows them to retain all of their natural oils (some of which can be lost or reduced during the kilning/drying process), and impart a more Earthy and natural character to the finished beer.

When brewing a Fresh Hop Ale, the hops must be utilized with 24 – 48 hours after picking to ensure freshness.  Any longer and they’ll start to become soggy and begin to develop mildew and rot.  So, when the season arrives, you’ll see plenty of trucks from local breweries making day-trips up to the Yakima Valley to procure their fresh hops for brewing.

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Bale Breaker Announces Their 2017 Summer Food Truck Lineup

Some things just go together, like peanut butter and jelly, chicken and waffles, meat and cheese.  The best pairing for us craft beer lovers, however, might just be the partnership between craft breweries and food trucks.  It’s the perfect arrangement for breweries that don’t serve their own food, as well as for the food trucks.  Brewery patrons don’t have to leave the brewery to go eat or worry about bringing their own food, and the food trucks get a steady supply of customers who need something to accompany those tasty craft beers they just ordered.

For some breweries, like Bale Breaker Brewing Company in Yakima, having food trucks is especially important because there aren’t a lot of food options right nearby.  That’s why Bale Breaker has arranged to have food trucks at the brewery 6 days a week, all summer long through Labor Day.

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