The world may be on fire, but at least we can take consolation in the fact that it's the most wonderful time of the year for beer lovers: fresh hop season! Fresh hop beers are made from hops processed no more than 24 hours after being harvested, resulting in brews with a milder, more botanical profile and less bitterness. And Pacific Northwest craft beer drinkers are particularly blessed: Because of the bounty and proximity of the hops in Yakima Valley (which supplies over 70% of the nation's hop crop), it's hard to beat the range of fresh hop beers available in our region. These beers are only here for an extremely limited time, so we've rounded up a list of places where they're available so you can make the most of the all-too-fleeting season. Plus, read about events like the Fresh Hop Ale Festival and Seattle Fresh Hop Beer Festival. For more food and drink inspiration, check out our food and drink guide.
Note: Availability may vary due to the ephemeral nature of fresh hops; we recommend calling ahead or checking online before visiting.
FRESH HOP BEERS
A1 Hop Shop
The bottle shop and bar stocks an array of fresh hop beers, including brews from Hellbent, Two Beers, Matchless, and others.
Pickup, delivery, in-person
Best of Hands Barrelhouse
Beginning on Wednesday, September 22, Best of Hands will feature the latest release in its fresh hop series: Strata IPA, a hazy IPA featuring wet Strata hops from Crosby Hops Farm.
Burke-Gilman Brewing Company
The award-winning brewery has unveiled several fresh offerings, including Fresh Hopotheosis (a double hazy fresh IPA) and Seems So Long Since We Walked In the Moonlight (a fresh hop hazy IPA).
Chuck's Hop Shop
This beloved craft beer destination has plenty of wet hop offerings on both its Central District and Greenwood taplists, including options from Hellbent, Chainline, Ex Novo, Breakside, Fremont, Matchless, and more.
Central District, Greenwood
Pickup, delivery, in-person
The craft brewery Fremont Brewing launched their Field to Ferment fresh hop pale ale on September 14 and will launch their Cowiche Canyon fresh hop ale on September 23. (The Stranger's Rich Smith recently wrote about the brewery's management.)
Future Primitive Brewing
If you love blush pink and regularly shell out for overpriced avocado toast, Future Primitive's first wet hop beer of the season, "Centennials for Millennials," might be for you. It's available on tap and in cans.
The Growler Guys
As part of their annual "fresh-tival," the Growler Guys are tapping over a dozen fresh hop beers daily all month long and offering special fresh hop flights. They'll also host a brewery spotlight night with fresh hop brews and rare offerings from Fremont Brewing on Wednesday, September 29.
Hellbent Brewing Company
Hellbent has debuted its Strata Fresh Hop IPA, made with freshly harvested Strata Hops from Oregon's Willamette Valley, dry-hopped with fresh Sabro hops from Yakima Valley, and brewed with Dextrin and Vienna malt and a small quantity of flaked oats. The final result is a lighter-style IPA with "dank, tropical citrus and floral hop characteristics" and " grassy, herbaceous notes."
The Hop and Hound
This Bothell-based craft beer bar has several fresh hop options, including some from Oregon-based breweries Hopworks and Ex Novo.
The pint-sized Greenwood craft brewery will release this year's version of its annual Étoile Verte, brewed with fresh Cascade hops from the Chelan Valley, on September 30.
Lazy Boy Brewing
This Everett taproom has been tapping three fresh hop beers made with Strata, Idaho Gem, and Citra hops.
Matchless kicked off fresh hop season with their annual Community Supported Agriculture fresh hop ale. They've followed it up with Easy Being Green (a fresh hop hazy IPA), Fresh Pine (a fresh-hopped West Coast IPA), and Fresh Bois (a fresh-hopped lager).
The Pine Box
Capitol Hill's mortuary-turned-watering-hole has a variety of fresh hop beers on tap, from breweries like Ex Novo, Matchless, and Ravenna.
Pickup, delivery, dine-in
Ravenna Brewing is going all out with no fewer than six fresh hop brews this year. The lineup includes Sabro Hazy Fresh Hop IPA (on draft only, released on September 14), Simcoe Hazy Fresh Hop IPA (draft only, released on September 16), Strata West Coast Fresh Hop IPA (cans only, four-packs released on September 21), Amarillo West Coast Fresh Hop IPA (draft only, released around the weekend of September 20), Mosaic Hazy Fresh Hop IPA (cans only, four-packs released during the first week of October), and Sterling Fresh Hop Lager (draft only, released in early October).
The acclaimed brewery started off fresh hop season with Fresh Hop Hazealicious, a special version of their year-round hazy IPA Hazealicious made with fresh Strata hops from the Yakima Valley. (Fresh Hop Hazealicious earned a bronze medal in the fresh hop beer category at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival last year.) They're also participating in Single Hill Brewing's "Fresh Hop Rodeo" (which involves three rounds of three breweries collaborating on the same fresh hop base beer and each competing to make their individual finished brew the best) and won the first round with Ace in the Hole, a fresh hop cold IPA brewed with wet CLS Farms Centennial and the addition of freshly dried Carpenter Ranches Sabro hops in the whirlpool. Reuben's Brews set their winning brew apart by dry-hopping it with Strata hops from Roy Farms and Sabro hops from Loftus. Ace in the Hole will be available soon in limited quantities.
Single Hill Brewing
In addition to the aforementioned "Fresh Hop Rodeo," Yakima's Single Hill Brewing is hosting a Fresh Hop Week from September 27-October 3, the week of the Fresh Hop Ale Festival. The festivities will include tours, releases, tastings, trivia, pop-ups, DJ tunes, and more.
Arlington-based Skookum Brewery has released their Fresh. Dank. Strata. IPA made with fresh Oregon-grown Strata hops and has some other "freshies" in the works.
Two Beers Brewing Co.
Two Beers' "hyper-seasonal" fresh hop IPA combines Citra, Amarillo, and Cascade hops with fresh whole-cone Centennial hops for an "intoxicatingly aromatic" result. They suggest pairing it with barbecue chicken, delicata squash, or manchego cheese.
Pickup, delivery, in-person
Fresh Hop Ale Festival
Yakima is the source of over 70% of our nation's hops, so why not go straight to the source? This annual fresh hop event in downtown Yakima features seasonal fresh hop beers from over 60 breweries, brewed exclusively with Yakima Valley hops, as well as cider, wine, food, and live music. Each brewery submits a beer to be judged in a competition, and the winners are announced during the festival. Proceeds support Yakima Valley arts and science programs.
SOZO Sports Complex, October 2, 2-10 pm
Seattle Fresh Hop Beer Festival
This festival features an extensive selection of fresh hop beers from around the Northwest, in addition to food trucks, games, competitions, an awards ceremony, and even a dog costume contest.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, October 9, 12-9 pm