Wet Dreams | Drink | Salt Lake City Weekly
DONATE

Wet Dreams 

These wet-hopped ales take freshness to a whole new level

Pin It
Favorite
MIKE RIEDEL
  • Mike Riedel

In order for a beer to be considered a "wet hop" ale, the hops have to be plucked from the bine and in the wort (unfermented beer) in under 24 hours. Breweries that are not located in hop country—and Utah is not in hop country—often have to procure overnight deliveries to get these hops into their beers.

Proper Hop vs Hop (Strata/Centennial): This wet-hopped IPA is super bright with aromas of cut grass, rose petals, grapefruit-led citrus notes, floral hops and bready, rich malt. Grassiness hits the tongue first, followed by a huge flower bouquet, then sharp citrus comes crashing in on the palate; rose and an awesome, doughy, bready malt base try to keep the hops tethered, though there's a good, clean hop bite on the finish. This 8.0 percent IPA is full bodied but not chewy at all, and lighter than both the look and taste would lead me to believe. Medium-high carbonation, clean and mild dryness.

RoHa - Freshies: This Amarillo wet hop is very fresh, crisp and clean, showcasing a flavorful combination of citrus, flowers and herbs. It's a little more lemony in flavor than the nose would suggest—lemon peel, red grapefruit and juicy blood oranges. However, it still mostly tastes like it has been brewed with noble hops and has crisp, pilsner-like floral and vegetal characteristics. On the aftertaste, you get some caramel malt and sweet biscuit, but it ends up being hopped up, mildly bitter and clean, with lingering orange peel. It is moderately bodied at 5.0 percent, mouth-coatingly smooth and slippery, and boasts robust carbonation that quenches thirst and makes it eminently drinkable.

Fisher - Oso Fresco: This one boasts 100 pounds of Strata hops. In the glass, the beer has a beautiful orange glow. The Strata hops produce a subtle pineapple aroma, but rather than big tropical fruit juice character, a soft, grassy finish dominates the pallet. Despite the piney smell, tropical fruits are abundant here, ending on a loud, dry papaya note mixed with herb and day-old biscuit/cracker. There's a high hop oil presence here as well, with lots of resin. Substantial, oily, dense and slightly creamy at 5.0 ABV, it leaves a coating of oil and dry malt on the finish. A pretty balanced and solid feel for a pale ale.

Fisher - When the Hops Forget Your Name: This West Coast-style pale ale was hopped with 100 pounds of fresh Amarillo hops. The aroma was very light, with hints of light hops, pine and citrus mixed in, but it was primarily dominated by a faint grainy aroma. A beautiful, light pale ale flavor comes in perfectly balanced; immediately following the initial surge of hops on the palate, a very smooth and well-balanced malt flavor took over. The way it all came together so well truly impressed me. It was moderately carbonated and quite sessionable, preventing it from feeling overdone.

TF - Mr. Hand Fresh Hop: Now we get 400 pounds of fresh Amarillio in this draft ale. The barley fragrance is complemented by fig and orange esters, which enhance the nose's overall richness. The flavor is similar; it has firm malt tastes of thin caramel, honey-soaked biscuit, cashews, fig, orange and peach that give off a sweet and fruity undertone, which melds well with the complex hop flavor. At this point, the drier fruit flavors of orange zest, white grapefruit and citrus pith start to emerge from the sweeter flavors. It seems that the chlorophyll of the moisture-rich hops is significantly contributing to the overall flavor of the beer, as it finishes with the resinous bitterness of aromatic grasses, leaves and stem.

These are not the only wet hop beers to be made locally, and more have undoubtedly hit tap handles since the time of this writing. Get out there and try them now, because this is the only time of the year that these harvest ales will occur. As always, cheers!

Pin It
Favorite

Tags:

More by Mike Riedel

Latest in Drink

© 2022 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation