Harvest Season: Minnesota’s Fresh Hop Beers

Fresh Hops // Photo by Jamie Schumacher

Fresh Hops // Photo by Jamie Schumacher

The fall hop harvest has all but come to a close, but the fruits of those labors are just now ready for enjoyment. Fresh hop ales are hitting shelves and taprooms all across the state to ring in my personal favorite season of the year—autumn.

Fresh hops possess more intense aromas and flavors than their processed-hop counterparts, but just like the handful of cool fall days before winter, the window to use hops fresh off the bine is short and fleeting. The volatile oils and resins in each hop cone that are responsible for aroma and bitter flavors in beer begins to degrade within a day of being harvested meaning it’s a mad dash from local hopyards to a brewery’s brew kettle.

There has been a resurgence of hop farms in Minnesota in in the past two years thanks in part to the University of Minnesota hops research and a group of enthusiastic entrepreneurs that have planted and are cultivating young hopyards. The Midwest was once a major region of hop growing in the 1800s until disease wiped out nearly all of the area’s commercial farms by 1930.

This new era of hop growing is not only helping brewers connect back to the land with locally grown ingredients, but also each and every beer drinker who enjoys a fresh hop beer. Here is a guide to some of Minnesota’s bounty of fresh hop beers. Know of another fresh hop beer not listed here? Tweet us at @growlermag.

 

Bemidji Brewing Hop Harvest Red Ale

 

Boom Island Thoprock Wet IPA

 

Canal Park Wet Hop Harvest Ale

 

 

Castle Danger Mosaic Fresh Hop

 

Brau Brothers 100 Yard Dash

 

Dangerous Man Wet Hop Red Ale

(Tapped in September)

 

Day Block Harvest Pale Ale

(Tapped in September)

 

Excelsior Fresh Hop Beer

 

Fair State “It’s Gold, Jerry!” Fresh Hop Golden Ale

 

Fulton Langola Fresh Hop Ale

 

Gull Dam Fresh Hop Beer

 

The Herkimer Tomorrow Doppel Pilsner and Double American Wheat

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Avatar About Brian Kaufenberg

Brian Kaufenberg is the editor-in-chief of The Growler Magazine.

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