Those of you that make the drive to Pullman from Yakima are well aware: The start football season is hop harvest season. That means another thing: It’s time for fresh hop (or wet hop) beers. They began hitting shelves a couple weeks ago utilizing one of the most abundant hops: Centennial.
Centennial is one of the first hops picked, so the first fresh hop beers you see on the market each September are typically brewed with whole cone, never dried, picked just hours before, Centennial hops.
The beer that Baxter and I are highlighting today is Matchless Brewing C.L.S. Farms Centennial Wet Hop Ale. Matchless is a new brewery out of Tumwater, Wash. near Olympia. It’s head brewer previously held the same position at Three Magnets Brewing in downtown Olympia. We’ve highlighted Three Magnets before. Matchless is one of the best and most innovative new brewers in the Pacific Northwest, and it is doing excellent things with oak, including pilsners, saisons, sours and stouts. Matchless also does a number of IPAs, which you can find in cans around the Puget Sound area. I highly recommend trying Matchless whenever you see it on the menu.
C.L.S. Farms is a hop grower in Moxee, Wash., which is the hop capital of the United States.
Fresh hop beers are interesting and different than typical pale ales and IPAs. Fresh hops give off a slightly more vegetal aroma and taste. Features are pungent, and you pick up some subtleties that you might not taste in dried hops.
If you want to check out more fresh hop beers, and you are headed to USC next Friday, I recommend taking a detour on your way back. The annual Fresh Hop Ale Festival takes place in Yakima on Saturday, Sept. 30 and it is one of the best beer festivals in the region, if not the whole country.
That’s what Baxter and I are having, what will you be drinking while the Cougs take on Nevada?