For the time being, fresh hop beers are a unique treat in the Pacific Northwest: nearly all of the U.S. hop crop is grown and harvested here between Mid-August and the end of September. These fragrant, conical green flowers have a short shelf-life and are usually sold to breweries after they’ve been dried and pelletized. Brewers must coordinate quick handoffs with growers like Yakima Valley Hops to make a fresh hop beer.
One of the easiest ways to taste a lot of fresh hop beer this fall is to attend the Seattle Fresh Hop Beer Festival. They haven’t announced their brewery lineup yet, but organizers promise a host of festival extras: food trucks, DJs, and beer-related activities and prizes. Cleanse your palate at the pop-up tiki lounge or cider bar; non-alcoholic options are available.
Attend one of three sessions: Friday from 5 to 9 pm, Saturday from 1 to 4 pm, or Saturday from 6 to 9 pm. General admission tickets include eight 4oz drink tokens and a colorful 12oz camp mug. There are also options for early access and festival-only admission for DDs. Dogs are allowed during Saturday’s first session—enter the Hoppiest Hound Competition to win prizes and bragging rights. Leave the kiddos at home; this event is 21+.
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