Shaun delivered a very tantalizing post about the arrival of fresh hopped beers courtesy of the fall hop harvest. They are hitting the market here in Chicago too. Of course, we in the Midwest import most of our hops, particularly the potent bittering hops that are almost exclusively grown in the Pacific Northwest. The fresh hopped beers in the Midwest are therefore a little less complex but there are still some beauties to be had:
Founders Harvest Ale. We've told you about this scarce fresh hop brew several times before. It's arguably the finest fresh hopped ale in the Midwest and, year upon year, delivers juicy hop goodness. The hops in this one spread sinewy grapefruit more broadly across your tongue than Founders' standard Centennial IPA, and are a bit sticky with resins. A lean foundation of graceful malts slightly tames the hop drenching and polishes the finish nicely. The mouthfeel is rather light and smooth with tight carbonation. This is a great drinking experience.
Half Acre Sticky Fat. This is a fresh hop black beer offering from the local Chicago brewer that's really expanded its hop profile this year. They claim to have had their hops picked and overnighted to them to preserve the essential hop freshness of this style. I have yet to try this one but am on the lookout for it. Half Acre's been getting solid reviews among serious beer drinkers here for some of their hoppier offerings so I'm very curious to give this a try.
There are other bottlings that will soon hit the market here, some from around the country, including Port's vaunted High Tide IPA, and I'll try to keep you updated.