If you are like me, you drink your IPAs as fresh as possible for the best and overall flavor, but just because you drink it fresh does not mean it is a “Fresh Hop” IPA, there is a difference. Now typically hops that are harvested are dried out and put into pellet form for storage purposes; however every fall, many breweries brew out a fresh hop ale of some sort, in which the hops are still “wet” or not dried out. They literally go straight from being picked to the truck right into the brew, and this is what a “Fresh Hop” ale is or also commonly referred to as a “wet hop” ale. Now though i am sure many breweries make their brews with freshly harvested hops, this was not the common trend and because of this fall had become known as the Fresh Hop season. Like a child getting ready for the winter season and all the magic that comes along with it, I wait for Fresh Hop season, and find the best fresh hop ales out there…this is just one of those ales.
Port Brewing/Lost Abbey – High Tide IPA
Ze Beer? High Tide Fresh Hop IPA
Ze Maker? Port Brewing/Lost Abbey
Ze Style? Fresh Hop IPA
Ze Content! 6.5% abv
Serving Type: 22oz bottle
Hight Tide pours a slightly murky pale golden color into my IPA glass. A thick foamy two inch head easily forms from the pour offering plenty of sticky lacing as the head diminishes leaving behind a nice frothy layer on the surface of the beer for practically the duration of the beer. A very crisp clean piney aroma just floats off the top with a generous juicy grapefruit citrus aroma as well. Just a slight touch of danky pungent aroma comes form this beer as well, but this characteristic is very light in comparison to other big hoppy beers, you can also smell the oils that come from the hops as well in this beer. The flavor profile and palate are surprisingly very light and not what I expected form this beer; super drinkable and very light all while having a nice crisp bitterness that lingers on for a good length. For 6.5% abv as well, the content of this IPA is very well hidden and masked well. Not much is beyond the bitterness of this beer, but it really does have just an incredible a wonderfully fresh hop characteristic almost if a I have just sucked the sap of a pine needle. Great carbonation is presented in this beer, helping it maintain a great aroma throughout the enjoyment of the beer. Some soft grassy notes come from this beer as well, which really just helps compliment the freshness in the hops leaving a feeling of freshly cut wet grass in your mouth. A very defined crisp bitterness is presented in this beer, and that is exactly what i like to enjoy in my IPA’s.
This bottle was reviewed on 10-26-13 shortly after hitting distribution in Southern California retail stores. Now Fresh Hop IPA’s used to be a thing of glory and they still are, but these IPA’s fell on a season of Fresh Hop Ales, but now it seems like everyone is making some kind of Fresh Hop IPA throughout the year. Just like many individuals wait for Pumpkin Ale season, Fresh Hop season is something i have always looked forward to and will continue to look forward to. As the Craft Beer scene continues to evolve and grow with increasingly more breweries offering a fresh hop ale throughout the year just remember that they did come from a season, and take a moment to enjoy the Craft Beers of those seasons. High Tide and Hop 15 are hands down my favorite IPA’s from Port Brewing when fresh of course. So if you have the chance to try this one out, i suggest you do so.
Should you Buy this? This IPA is definitely worth your time and money. Alas by the time you read this, the beer will already have been almost a full month on shelves and probably not worth it at that point, only because this is one of those beers that needs to be enjoyed fresh. I would still give it a shot, but if we get to December and you still find these bottles floating around, I would suggest waiting for next year for the best possible outcome.
Is there a beer out there and easily accessible for me to obtain in the Southern California Region? Let me know and ill do my best to obtain it and share my thoughts with you! Just leave a comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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