Falcons, sign up now for the September Club Shop Brew Session Sunday, Sept. 27, as club Prez Cullen Davis leads the crew in a very special brew. Seems Cullen has a friend with a hop farm, and has access to wads of hops that are just now being harvested, so this is a rare chance to brew a wet hop beer.
Hops are the seed cones of Humulus lupulus, and they're very delicate flowers. They don't survive long after being cut, which is why almost all hops used by brewers are dried immediately after harvest, and/or turned into pellets to preserve the valuable oils and resins that add so much flavor and character to beer.
In 1996, the brewmaster of Sierra Nevada, Steve Dresler, learned of a European tradition of brewing a special seasonal beer with just-harvested green hops and started making Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale, which Sierra Nevada now brews every fall. Craft breweries across the nation have followed suit, including Deschutes in Oregon, Sixpoint in Brooklyn, and Surly in Minnesota.