The problem with fresh hop beers is most of them don't have a lot of character. I suppose this is exactly what makes them special. When you use whole hops that haven't been compressed and dried, you wind up with beers that are typically juicier and brighter. More flavor or aroma? Not in my experience. But that's my opinion.
|The side view glamour shot|
There's a lot of denial out there regarding fresh hop beers. Brewers are happy to talk about the creative appeal and uniqueness of these beers. That's well and good. In practice, though, breweries are forced to have a fresh hop beer. Why? Because everyone else does. When your best friends jump off a cliff, you're obligated to follow, right? Indeed.
Despite my ragged opinion of fresh hop beers, I ran into a very nice one at Laurelwood yesterday. It wasn't Fresh Hop Workhorse, which I found to be thin and a mere shadow of its standard self. It also wasn't the fresh hop version of their terrific Pilsner. Instead, it was Fresh Hop Red, which they started pouring on Monday at the Sandy location.
|A nicely bronzed head caps this fine beer|
Brewmaster Vasili Gletsos says he hopes to keep the Fresh Hop Red on for a couple of weeks. This in contrast to Laurelwood's prior fresh hops beers (Workhorse and Pils), which lasted only about a week each before running dry. Get down there and give Fresh Hop Red a try.