Bale Breaker Brewing, Moxee
Style: Wet hop IPA
Stats: 6.9 percent ABV, 75 IBU
Available: On tap at the Freshies to Your Face event at The Hop and Hound on Oct. 7.
My thoughts: I was in Yakima last weekend to take in the epic Fresh Hop Ale Festival, and before the festival kicked off proper, I knew I had to swing by Bale Breaker Brewing. I’d never been and was leaving early the next morning, so it was my only chance.
Bale Breaker is like a cathedral to hops. The whole place smells like lupulin, the aromatic yellowish powder found in the middle of hops, the giant hop bines sway in the wind and the beer is pouring. I ordered up this beer, grabbed a seat with some folks on the patio and took a long slug. It was heavenly.
This wet hop IPA was named the winner in the IPA category at last year’s Fresh Hop Ale Festival and it’s easy to see why. The hundreds of pounds of Citra hops that give this beer its tropical and citrus flavor were picked just down the road from the brewery and were in the kettle in four minutes. Now that’s fresh.
The beer is a collaboration with Seattle’s Cloudburst Brewing, and the result is a lightly tropical IPA that has a light body. When I was finished, I nearly went for a frolic in the hop fields.
Saturday’s fresh hop event at Bothell’s The Hop and Hound will feature a number of fresh hop beers from across the state. Along with Citra Slicker, Georgetown’s Johnny Utah fresh hop pale, Fremont’s Field to Ferment Amarillo fresh hop pale, Matchless’ Fresh Fluff Wet New England IPA, Machine House’s Fresh Hop Citra on cask, 5 Rights’ Wobbly the Laborer Imperial IPA, Salish Sea’s Fresh Hop Blonde, Standard Brewing’s Heavens to Murgatroyd Mosaic fresh hop pale, Breakside’s What Fresh Beast fresh hop IPA and more will be on tap.
The Hop and Hound won’t be the only place you can get fresh hop ales this weekend. Everett’s At Large Brewing is tapping its Mosaic Fresh Hop 17, a soft and juicy fresh hop IPA, while Snohomish’s SnoTown Brewing and 5 Rights Brewing are both releasing Amarillo fresh hop IPAs.
5 Rights’ Embrace the Resin Amarillo Fresh Hop IPA features hops fresh from Gamache Farms in Yakima, and shows off the slight grapefruit, orange and peach flavor and aroma notes of the Amarillo hops. It’s available at Flatstick Pub in Kirkland and Pioneer Square.
From the brewery: Each hop harvest, the big city brewers from Cloudburst Brewing make the trek from downtown Seattle over the Cascades to team up with the farm brewers from Bale Breaker to brew Citra Slicker Wet Hop IPA, a fresh hop beer that was first brewed in 2014 with then-owner of Elysian Brewing Dick Cantwell.
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