Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last Call for Fresh Hops!

Saturday is your last chance to enjoy this year's crop of Oregon fresh hop beers as the Eugene brewers and Oregon Brewers Guild present 2008's final Fresh Hop Beer "Tastival" in Eugene.

More than 20 beers, brewed with hops fresh from the farm, will be available at Ninkasi Brewing, 272 Van Buren St. from noon to 9 p.m. Oct. 25.

Fresh hop beers are brewed just once a year, at harvest time, when brewers travel to the hop yards to gather hop cones, still wet with oils, straight from the bine. The beers are often brewed within hours of harvest. Normally, hops are kiln-dried, baled and pelletized to increase their storability, but that processing changes the hops' flavor profile.

Participating brewers come from near and far, from Eugene's Ninkasi, Eugene City Brewery and McMennamin's High Street to Ashland's Standing Stone Brewery and Ontario's Beer Valley Brewing. The beers sport names such as Killer Green, Leafer Madness, Hop Press and Hoppapotamus. The beer styles represented run the gamut from Oktoberfest lager to strong ale with plenty of pale ales and IPAs.

The Rogue Nation has two beers at the festival, both brewed with hops from Rogue Farms in Independence, Ore. Rogue's Independence Hop Ale is a hearty pale ale brewed with Willamette and Centennial hops. Eugene City's McArdle's Hammer, named for the mayor of Independence, a former University of Oregon track and field standout, is a pale ale showcasing fresh Willamette hops.

Rogue will also provide the food for the event, featuring pizza and Kobe Beef Haute Dogs.

Admission is free. Souvenir glasses, which are required for tasting, are $5 and 4-ounce samples of beer are $1 each. No minors will be allowed at this event.

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