This year John returns with a divided batch, half hopped with Cascade, half with Crystal. They debut tonight at five:
Lupulin Fresh Hop ReleaseWhat to Expect
Tasting Room and Pub, Hood River
Riverplace Brewery/Pilsner Room, Portland
Thursday, September 10th at 5:00pm
Fresh hops behave differently than dry hops. The flavors of a wet hop compare neither to dry hops generally nor even to their dried selves. I've been trying to chart the experiments of wet hopping to see which varieties perform best. Cascade and Crystal are two that have shown consistent success.
John's used Cascades before, though this is no guarantee he's following the exact same recipe for this batch. Of the four Lupulins he's made in past years, the Cascades are his fave. (For my money, the Amarillo and Nuggets were tastier, but especially with hops, your experience may vary.) This is how I described that beer:
Cascades are a bright, happy, and sunny. They don't have a care in the world. But wet Cascades are earthy and rustic. They have a freshly organic quality, but very little of the floral/citrusy quality of dried Cascade. It had a bit of orange, but it fades to a darker, more bitter tea-like quality. There's a certain quality about some leafy green vegetables that is bitter--this beer had that.Given their ubiquity in American craft brewing, Cascades haven't been featured in a huge number of fresh-hop beers. However, in addition to Lupulin, BridgePort used it in last year's Hop Harvest. (This year Hop Harvest uses Chinook and Cluster.) Cascades have been used in mixtures by other breweries, too.
Dry, Crystal is a pretty generic hop. It's clean and crisp, but exhibits nothing particularly unique. As a wet hop, it shows much more character. Deschutes' very well-regarded Hop Trip uses Crystal. It's stability as a dry hop is good--it means less funkiness wet. The clean character becomes denser and more oily, with notes of lemongrass. Of Hop Trip, I wrote, "They linger in the mouth almost tangibly after you swallow--a fresh, rich aroma you can chew on for a few seconds."
How will they be in Lupulin? You have only a few hours wait to find out.