Baxter the Pekapoo, with his friend Boycat ready to pounce.
Baxter heads west for this week's selection, and shows a little regional pride.
Baxter the pekapoo has had a bit of a lazy Saturday so far. His best buddy Amanda is back from work, so he has spent the majority of the time lounging around with her. His roommate Boycat was getting a little jealous of all the attention Baxter has received on the internet, and decided to photobomb today's picture, as you can see above.
This isn't boycat's first appearance on the internet, that came years ago on the home for cats: Youtube.
Fall is now in full swing, and that means no shortage of seasonal beers. Octoberfest and Pumpkin Ales reign supreme this time of year, but those aren't the best parts of the autumn offerings.
Harvest time happens in the fall, and that means a bunch of breweries release fresh hop (or wet hop) ales. Typically, hop growers dry out their hops or put them in pellet form for easier storage and transport. However, some of the hops that are picked in the fall are sent straight to breweries to make some of the best tasting beers around.
Sierra Nevada is the nation's biggest craft brewery, and they use their power to procure some of the best hop varieties. This year they produced Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale 2012 using fresh hops from the Yakima Valley.
I'm a sucker for any beer that mentions Yakima on the label, as it is my home town. I've been on many brewery tours in my day, and I often mention with pride that I from the town where most of the hops are grown. Sierra Nevada's Harvest mentions right on the bottle that the hops were picked in the Yakima Valley, then sent straight to their brewery and added to the beer within 24 hours of harvest. The result is a more complex hop presence than one typically gets with IPAs (and yes, Harvest beers are always hop-heavy, because they would be pointless otherwise).
Craig's Review: I love fresh hop ales, and this one does not disappoint. Sierra Nevada is always good at showcasing the flavors of their hop varieties, and this one is complex without being heavy. The beer pours an amber color and has a wonderfully floral hop aroma.
The wet hops provide a more resinous flavor, and one that lingers far longer on the tongue. No need to rush with this beer, as the flavor hangs around for a while. I savored it last night, and took about three hours to down the 24-ounce bottle.
This is the rare time Baxter has suggested a beer that is available in most of the country. I would recommend you find this, and any other wet hop ale next time you visit your favorite beverage center. I also tried Founder's Harvest Ale this week, and it was just as delicious.
Baxter's review: Again, I don't like smelling the beer. The carbonation gets in my nose and makes an icky feeling. However, I was surprised to find out I love this beer. Craig gave me a taste and I was begging for more. He held the cup in front of me, and I tried to drink out of it, but he pulled it away. Maybe it was because I like to lick Boycat's backside.
Anyways, Craig poured me a little bit in a bowl, and I lapped it up. Then we watched a funny movie and I had a real good time.
So Baxter and I will be honoring the hop growers of our home state with this week's selection, what will you be having?