This first hop harvest went very well. The other hops are still establishing themselves, but the Cascades produced over a pound of hops. After picking, hops can either be used immediately or dried and stored for later use. I used some fresh cascade to make a fresh hop imperial IPA, Force of Nature. Fresh hops give the beer a different character. By hand-picking the hops rather than mechanically harvesting them, the stems and leaves stay out of the beer, keeping the flavor nice and smooth. Force of Nature is brewed with a staggering amount of 100% fresh Cascade hops, a touch of light caramel malt, and a big helping of demerara sugar to keep it crisp.
We plan to offer fresh hop versions of all our beer during harvest time. I am very much looking forward to fresh hop Nature’s Warden, made with our mighty Chinook hops.