When it starts to cool down here in New England, it’s time to seek out the “wet hop” ales before they’re all gone. I’d never tried this beer from Sierra Nevada, but since I credit them with bringing craft beer to the masses with their pale ale, I hunted until I could find it.
A wet hop ale is brewed only with fresh, whole hops, which makes it typically a fall brew, when most hops are being harvested. They’re not the hoppiest brews you’ll find, but the fresh hops impart some unique flavors that make them worth the effort to seek out.
This beer pours a beautiful clear red/orange color, with a nice head that leaves traces of bubbles all over the glass as it fades. It doesn’t smell pungent, but instead is a nice balance between the hops and the malt. It’s bitter, but not overly so. There’s just the right combination of citrus to make it one of the most drinkable beers I’ve ever had. Yeah, it’s that good.
Don’t bother with wet hop beers if you love a fruity hop “bomb.” They don’t pack the same whallop as some of the top beers in the IPA category. But if you want an enjoyable, hoppy beer that says goodbye to summer and ushers in the Fall and Winter with style, give them a try. And by all means, find this one, because it’s a great example of the style.
Vitals: Served at 45F into my trusty tulip. 6.7% ABV.
Taste: B+. Balanced and beautiful.
Drinkability: A. I’d love to find this one tap and then call myself a cab.
Packaging: B+. Good story and all the vitals… I only ding them for no brew date.