The leaves are changing and Minnesota breweries are churning out their seasonal beers for autumn — and many are introducing fresh hop beers.
Joe Alton, creative director and editor of Growler Magazine, shares five things you should know about fresh hops.
1) Using fresh hops straight off the bine gives beer a different flavor from dry, pelletized hops. "It's more resinous," says Alton. "You'll get a lot more aroma."
2) They're fleeting. Alton estimates that the season for fresh hops is almost closed, peaking for just a few weeks in early October.
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3) While there are more than 20 acres of hops being produced in Minnesota, Michigan is the strongest regional hops producer. Still, the vast majority are shipped in from Yakima Valley, WA.
4) Fresh hops have gone from a niche experiment to a staple. Alton says, "Almost half of the breweries in Minnesota are experimenting with fresh hops in some way, shape or form this season."
5) Some great places to get introduced to fresh hops beer are Fulton Brewery and Fair State Brewing Company, who both brew golden ales that "show off the hop without being aggressive," says Alton.
Want to learn more? Growler Magazine has a Minnesota fresh hop round up.