October 15 2009, 11:12 AM
Fall can be a sentimental time. The cooler air and crunchy leaves often give the feeling of a fresh start, and sometimes the beginning of a more emotional season. The emotion it inspires in beer lovers is pure excitement. After all, it's harvest season for the hops, and breweries celebrate by brewing fresh-hopped beer. Instead of using dried hops or hop pellets (which look a lot like rabbit food), brewers use freshly plucked hops. In Great Divide Brewing's case, the brewery ships hops harvested from the Pacific Northwest overnight so the hop flowers can be used at their freshest. The result is a much different type of pale ale. Instead of the trademark bitterness, fresh hops still contain their oils, which bring out the more citrusy side of the hop flavor. Some brewers warn that this beer can taste like fresh-cut grass. Frankly, that's one of my favorite flavors in Fresh Hop. Grab your six-pack now. Fresh Hop is on the shelves only during October and November.