MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Fall is often a short-lived season.
Certain things, aside from the weather, are here and then gone quickly. Things like high school football games, fall colors and a certain kind of beer that you may have never heard of.
So, Jason DeRusha decided to head to the hop field where “fresh hopped” beers are all the rage.
In this DeRusha Eats, or drinks rather, he checks out “fresh hopped” beer.
“It’s a great time of year for beer,” Matty O’Reilly, co-owner Republic, said.
That’s saying something when it comes from Matty O’Reilly.
Fifty-six taps at his Republic in Uptown’s Calhoun Square and Minneapolis’ Seven Corners.
Right now a few are reserved for these only-in-fall beers called “Fresh” or “Wet Hopped.”
“The fresh hop beers actually use the whole hop immediately after its harvested,” O’Reilly said.
Most beers use dried hop pellets during the brewing process.
Hops add bitterness, flavor, and aroma.
“And these beers actually use the hops that are run basically right from the field straight to the breweries to actually capture the essence, and the oils and the aromatic properties in its whole form. Which is really cool,” O’Reilly said.
“They harvested their own cascade hops and raced them down to the brewery to make this beer,” O’Reilly said.
Drying hops takes away some of the oils so wet hops have a more vibrant smell.
“Do you get more aroma with the wet hops style?” DeRusha asks.
“That’s the principal of it. That it captures that natural essence of the hop which, in some cases, can be super citrusy, piney” O’Reilly said.
Stillwater’s Lift Bridge uses local hops, too, in their Harvestor Ale.
Indeed in Northeast Minneapolis brings in 1,200 pounds of hops from Washington, they brew four beer batches within 24 hours!
Just like the autumn leaves, by the end of October, the fresh hopped beers will be gone.
And that’s part of what makes them so exciting.
“A then when it’s gone, it’s gone. Then you have to wait until next year,” O’Reilly said.
The fest goes from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the American Swedish Institute.
Dozens of local breweries will be there sampling their beers.
Tickets are $30.