Meet the Writers, Buy Some Books Dec. 3

Meet the Writers at Bazi Bierbrasserie

Add another event to the Portland schedule this weekend, on Saturday, December 3: a Meet the Writers event at Bazi Bierbrasserie! It takes place from 5 to 7pm. Here are the details:

Join us for Happy Hour and meet the writers of these must own beer books:

Jon Abernathy – Bend Beer Book
Jeff Alworth – The Beer Bible
Pete Dunlop – Portland Beer Book
Niki Ganong – Field Guide to Drinking in America
Steven Shomler – Portland Beer Stories

Writers will be onsite to answer questions and sign copies. Get an extra 10% off your tab when you purchase one of these books for your collection.

It is amazingly generous of Bazi to offer the 10% discount with a book purchase! Bazi is a terrific Belgian-themed beer bar and one you should be visiting anyway—but especially come out and visit on Saturday night! I and my fellow writers will be more than happy to sign a book for you.

See you there! Cheers!

Books & Beer at N.W.I.P.A. in Portland, Dec. 4

Holiday Books & Beer at N.W.I.P.A.

On Sunday, December 4, I will be one of several authors signing and selling books in Portland at N.W.I.P.A. beer bar for their Holiday Books & Beer Event taking place from 2 to 5pm! This is going to be a terrific event and the perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping for the beer and book lover in your life!

We’re bringing together local publishers and a few local authors to sign books this holiday season. A signed book is a great personalized gift!. You’ll find gifts for beer lovers, traveling tipplers, art fans, books for the tikes and toddlers in your life and more. The team at N.W.I.P.A. will help you select some gift-worthy bottles of beer and cider to round out your holiday shopping list. Stop by, buy a book, buy a bottle and raise a glass all in the name of getting things done this holiday season!

This event is age 21+

Meet the authors:
Jeff Alworth (The Beer Bible)
Niki Ganong (The Field Guide to Drinking in America)
Brian Yaeger (Oregon Breweries)
Steven Shomler (Portland Beer Stories)
Matt Wagner (The Tall Trees of Portland and art director for Gigantic Brewing label art)
Jon Abernathy (Bend Beer)
and more to be announced!

We’ll also have books by these publishers:
Overcup Press
Hazy Dell Press
and more

N.W.I.P.A. is a beer bar that almost exclusively serves—you guessed it—IPAs, along with other limited-availability beers. Come on out, have a beer, and get a signed copy of the book!

See you there!

Fresh Hop Beers

Fresh hops

We’re on the tail end of it, but this time of year is the peak season for the release of one of the most ephemeral types of beer—those made with fresh hops. These beers are made with freshly-harvested, un-dried hops (sometimes called “wet hops”) and added to the beer at some point in the brewing process. Sometimes they replace the regular dried hops entirely, more often they are used to complement dried bittering hops.

The use of fresh hops lends a very different character to the finished beer than those with dried hops. They can be intensely floral and fruity, have very “fresh” plant or vegetal characters like fresh-cut grass or chlorophyll, and (in my opinion) can be very “bright” in a way that’s tough to describe without having smelled and tasting one yourself.

Fresh hop season is one of my favorite times of the year for beer, and these beers don’t last long. To help commemorate the hop harvest this season, I thought I’d write a bit of history on fresh hop beers, particularly focused on Central Oregon.


The first documented commercial fresh hops beers date to the early to mid 90s. In 1993, the late beer writer Michael Jackson chronicled a fresh hop beer made in England:

Trevor Holmes, head brewer at Wadworth, of Devizes in Wiltshire, was inspecting the harvest a year or two ago when he began to wonder how beer would taste if it were aromatised with hops fresh off the vine.

The practicalities are such that it could be done only once a year. Mr. Holmes tried it first last year [1992]. The 100-barrel brew was meant to last a month; it sold out in a week. This year, there are almost 300 barrels.

Mr. Holmes has used the first of the new seasons malt to make his “green hop” beer. The brewery calls it simply Malt and Hops. I can think of only one other brewery that has tried making such a “biere nouvelle,” and that is in the far West of the United States.

The “other brewery… in the far West” of the U.S. Jackson referred to was probably Bert Grant, whose Yakima Brewing (located among the hop fields of Yakima, Washington) was the first post-Prohibition brewpub in the United States. Portland-based beer writer Jeff Alworth wrote a few years ago:

In the mid-90s, he decided to take advantage of the vast wealth of hops that grew within a few miles of his brewery in Yakima (where well over half all domestic hops were grown at the time). He sent folks from the brewery out to the hop fields during the September harvest while he started prepping the mash tun. They gathered a batch of fresh hops, brought them back to the brewery, and within minutes of having been picked, were dumped into the boil.

Concurrently with Grant’s fresh hop beers, California’s Sierra Nevada in 1996 brewed their Harvest Ale, their first fresh hop beer, with freshly-harvest hops flown in from Yakima.


Here in Central Oregon, Deschutes Brewery was the first to release a fresh hop beer, Hop Trip, in 2005. It was an American-style pale ale infused with fresh Crystal hops sourced from the Willamette valley. This was only three years after Karl Ockert at BridgePort Brewing brewed what was probably the first fresh hop beer in Oregon in 2002. (In a nice bit of synergy, Ockert is now Director of Brewing Operation for Deschutes.) So Deschutes was definitely on the forefront of the Oregon fresh hop phenomenon.

Deschutes Brewery Hop Trip, first brewed in 2005   Deschutes Brewery Hop Trip, 2008

In 2007, the Oregon Brewers Guild partnered with Travel Oregon’s Oregon Bounty to launch the first “Fresh Hop Tastivals” around the state; Deschutes Brewery hosted the Tastival when it came to Bend. This event is what eventually morphed into the Sisters Fresh Hop Festival in 2010, which was started by Three Creeks Brewing.

In addition to Hop Trip, Deschutes regularly brews something like a dozen fresh hop beers each fall, and packages several, including Chasin’ Freshies Fresh Hop IPA.

Deschutes Brewery fresh hop tasting, 2008

Other breweries followed suit, like Silver Moon with their Hoppopotamus, Three Creeks with Cone Lick’r, and Crux Fermentation Project which regularly brews four or five different fresh hop beers each season, including one using hops grown in front of the brewery.

These days it’s almost more unusual for a brewery to not brew a fresh hop beer each fall, and this year (2016) saw at least three dozen beers from 16 Central Oregon breweries. A unique feature to a number of these beers was that the hops were locally grown:

I’m sure there are others I am missing from this list as well. Hop farming has been growing in Central Oregon, and while it will likely not get anywhere near the levels seen in the Willamette Valley, it has become an important local component to the regional beer economy. Especially at a time when “local” is more important than ever in beer.

There are still some fresh hop beers on tap now—don’t miss out on the last of this ephemeral beer season!