Sunday, October 28, 2012

Deschutes – Chashin’ Freshies – Fresh Hop IPA

Deschutes is based in Bend, OR and they are one of my favorite brewers.  They brew a number of seasonal brews and a new one this year is Chasin’ Freshies (7.4% ABV and 60 IBU) is a fresh hop IPA.  Fresh or Wet Hop beer is made at hop harvest time and the hops are as fresh as possible when used in the brewing of fresh hop beers.  The term wet hopped is also used because the hops are not dried, and again, are fresh.  The vast majority of hops are dried and palletized for easy storage, shipping and use by the brewer.  Chasin Freshies is brewed with Pilsner malt, flaked oats, Bravo hops and “Fresh Heirloom Cascade Hops”.  This beer is available October to December in most states west of the Mississippi River – I picked up a 22 oz. bomber for $5.99.  Deschutes is slowly expanding east with much anticipation from Deschutes fans.

American IPA - – BeerAdvocate

Appearance – Perfectly clear and a bright pale yellow with about a two-inch head.  The beer is nicely carbonated producing a steady stream of small bubbles in the glass. 
Aroma – Very subdued malt profile and the emphasis is on the hops.  I noticed citrus, herbal/mint, hint of grass, and a hint of tobacco (? – something else that I could not quite identify – not unpleasant at all – I just could not describe it).  
Taste – Many beers with a hop focus are hammers and slam you with bitterness – this is not bad, when you want one like that.  Chasin’ Freshies is more subtle and delicate.  The malt base provides a great canvas to use the Bravo and Heirloom Cascade hops to show their colors.  There is a nice sweetness and a touch of honey from the malts and citrus (lemon and orange/tangerine/grapefruit) with a touch of grass and herb.
OverallA – The bottle cap states “Bravely Done” and this is a very good fresh hop beer.  I am glad this is not a palate wrecker and showcased a more restrained version of the hops.  This is a great beer to fine and savor.  It will be another add to the “pick up when it is brewed” list of seasonal beers.

Website description – “Like fresh powder, it’s a seize-the-moment thing. At harvest, we rush Goschie Farms' Cascade hops fresh from vine to kettle. Not any Cascades, mind you, but an heirloom strain, from a single field, restored from the original rhizome. Hope you’re as hopped up as we are.“

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sierra Nevada – Beer Camp 2012

Sierra Nevada hosts a Beer Camp each year and the lucky participants work with the brewer to try some recipes and create something new for Sierra Nevada.  Sierra Nevada releases a Best of Beer Camp 12 pack that contains 3 bottles of four different selections.  When I see this offered up each year, I just pick up a twelve pack as the selections are always tasty and there is a good mix of different styles.  This year’s selection included a Pilsner, an Imperial Red Ale, an IPA, and an Oatmeal Stout.  I had tasted Red-Oric, the Imperial Red, at Parry’s earlier this year and I thought it was very good.  The Oatmeal Stout was excellent and my favorite of the selections, followed closely by Red-Oric, the Floral IPA, and finally the Pilsner.  All of these selections are very good and these are only in stores for a limited time – get them while they are still available.

Beer Camp #43 – Imperial Pilsner or Sticke Pilsner (5.7 ABV and 35 IBU)

Beer Camp #45 – Oatmeal Stout or Snowed in Stout (9.4 ABV and 51 IBU)

Beer Camp #53 – Floral IPA or Long-stem IPA (5.6 ABV and 54 IBU)

Beer Camp #65 – Imperial Red Ale or Red-Oric (8.5 ABV and 65 IBU)