I love beer. When my friend Shannon invited me to the Fresh Hops Beer Fest last night, I couldn’t say no! I’m sort of a beer nerd and really like trying new breweries that pop up, anything small batch or seasonal I’m a real sucker for but even some of the biggest beer fans have yet to try fresh hopped beers!
What’s fresh hopped/wet hopped beer? How is it different? Well, the hops flavours are a lot fresher, earthy and brighter than what we are used to with other hoppy, more bitter beers. A lot of the brews last night had citrus or flowery undertones to them (even melon flavoured, Shannon’s favourite!)
What makes fresh hopped beers a little harder to get a hold of is the fact that the hops are used in small batch brews within 24 hours of being taken from the field. Whoa, right!? Some breweries even told us they did it in under 12 hours. Also, since fall is upon us, it’s the end of the hops harvest season, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing some fresh-hopped beers hitting the LCBO and some of your favourite downtown bars any day now.
Fresh Hops Fest was held at one of my favourite venues, the Berkeley Church. It holds a lot of great beer events and it’s always a pleasure to attend (Can’t wait for Hoppy Holidays!)
A few of my favorites were in attendance, Big Rock Brewery, Niagara Oast House, Nickel Brook Brewing, Barnstormer, just to name a few, so since I love their classics, I was really excited to see what small batches they had come up with! A bonus was that Sobey’s was on site preparing really great charcuterie plates to pair with the unique brews. (Also, this is going to sound very basic white girl coming from me, but they had a pumpkin spiced cheese that was really out of this world and only available at Sobey’s. I’m literally going to pick some up after work today, it was that good).
One of my all time favourites from the night was from a brewery I hadn’t heard too much about. The Second Wedge Brewing Company in Uxbridge. They were serving up Back Forty Wet Hopped Pale Ale with chinook and cascade hops. It was super refreshing and smooth, made for real easy drinking. I talked a little to Zed who told me they had only been open for about 2 years now. I was excited to hear that they have brewery tours available, a tap room and a beer garden. They also have few live bands scheduled to perform on site, which I think is so fun. Something tells me I’ll be making a little road trip to enjoy a flight there sometime soon. Check them out!
Shannon’s pick of the night came from Goodlot Farmstead Brewing Co. Their Greenbelt Fresh Ale made with cascade hops had hints of melon in it. Sounds like an odd mix but it really worked. Knowing it was only a small batch and we couldn’t buy some to go was sort of a bummer but it was also what makes this event so special, we were able to try some really unique one of a kind batches!
We had a really great time sampling all the creations (yep, all of them) last night and hope this is an annual fest. Also, special thank you to Beck Taxi for sponsoring the event and helping everyone get some safely last night with taxi chits, you guys think of everything! Fingers crossed for next year!
Until Next Event X
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.