It’s a fresh Pac-12 season for the Washington State Cougars as they face the UCLA Bruins on Saturday night, and in honor of that Baxter has chosen his first fresh hop beer of 2019: Silver City Wet Hop Tropic Haze.
Baxter knows you’ve probably had the regular ol’ Tropic Haze before. It’s pretty ubiquitous—in grocery stores, gas stations, stadiums, pretty much anywhere that sells even some craft beer. What impresses most about Tropic Haze is not only its quality, but how it is able to maintain that quality at such a large scale of production. That’s not easy to do, and Silver City has pulled it off.
Wet Hop Tropic Haze incorporates, you guessed it, wet hops. Those are hops that haven’t been kiln dried or processed into pellets or other forms, and they are thrown into the beer the same day they are picked from the farm. That gives some potent and pungent flavors, and certainly adds a different element to Tropic Haze. Check out the video below for the visuals, or click here if it’s not showing up.
What drew Baxter and I to Wet Hop Tropic Haze is that instead of making a pure “wet hop ale” (which is typically a lighter beer with minimal malt in an attempt to showcase the wet hop ale characteristics), this beer is actually just a riff of an existing recipe. That’s typically the wet hop beers we prefer—something that is a typical beer style with wet or fresh hops thrown in (get yourself a fresh hop kolsch sometime, it is magical).
We are hashtag blessed in the Pacific Northwest this time of year, as the abundant hop farms in the Yakima and Willamette Valleys are in close enough proximity to produce all the fresh and wet hop beers that breweries and drinkers desire. It’s something unique and special, and not many other regions get to experience fresh hop season the way that Cascadia can.
That’s what Baxter and I will be drinking for the Cougs and Bruins. What will you be having?