Reviews are done by Jim Matt, our Chief Science Officer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.
Wet Hop (6.0% | 65 IBU) — our IPA brewed with fresh, whole cone Cascade and Chinook hops — offers amplified notes of citrus, pine and resin. Special thanks to the hardworking team at Crazy Horse Hops in Knightstown, Indiana, for making our hop dream a reality.
Malts: 2-row, Maris Otter, flaked wheat
Hops: Centennial, fresh and whole Cascade and Chinook
Wet hop beers call for a unique brewing process. Talk about that.
Typically whole hops are dried in a kiln and then baled, which helps extend their shelf life. In the case of wet hops, they are very perishable, so we need to use them within 24 hours of receiving them. We aren’t set up well to use hop cones, but we do have a brewhouse vessel that is able to separate solids from liquids (the mash/lauter tun). Normally it separates grain solids from wort, but in this case we use it to separate whole hops from wort. It works quite well.
We worked closely with Crazy Horse Hops in Knightstown, Indiana, to make this beer. What did that process look like?
Crazy Horse Hops is an up-and-coming hop farm in Knightstown, IN (just east of Indianapolis). They are trying to add more acreage and have dealt with our friends at Sun King Brewing in the past. Since they are only 2 hours away, it made sense for us to try out their delicious hops!
What are the notable characteristics of this beer?
Lightly malty, slightly grassy, bitter but balanced.
What makes you want to drink this beer?
I crave fresh hop beer this time of year and you should too!
What are some other wet hop beers that you dig?
Well, fresh hop beers are common in the Pacific NW...almost all breweries do some sort of wet hopped beer. But Bale Breaker in Yakima and Breakside in Portland make fine examples of this style.
Appearance: Dark yellow in color. Moderate white head with very good retention. Slight hop haze is present.
Aroma: Moderately grassy aroma upfront with notes of pine, resin, and orange pith. Low malt aroma.
Taste: A bitter start fades to grassy herbal notes. Moderate pine/resin character, with light citrus fruit, orange zest, and grapefruit rind notes. Low malt flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, somewhat creamy, light astringency.
Overall: A moderately bitter, hoppy pale ale with characteristics of wet hops (piney and grassy). A good complement to the season.
What foods would pair well with Wet Hop?
Southwest-style salad with chicken and chili lime vinaigrette or pork carnitas.
Ideal glassware for Wet Hop?
The standard pint glass works great.