Here’s what, and when, CLS Farms is offering for fresh hop season this year. And you just might learn something today.
As July comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about fresh hop beers, or wet hop beers as some purists choose to call them. Today I hope to teach you something about fresh hops that you maybe don’t know yet.
“We’re offering 22 varieties of fresh hops this year, which is more than we’ve ever done before,” says Claire Desmarais, Marketing and Sales Manager at CLS Farms in Moxee, Washington. “We’re really excited about this year and hope to be a resource for any breweries looking to do a fresh hop beer.”
Everyone knows that fresh hop beers make use of hops fresh off the bine. Usually, within 24 hours of harvest is the rule. Here’s something that brewers know but the beer-drinking public probably does not: hops “come ready” on their own schedule. Exactly when they are ready for harvest varies and is based on several factors.
It’s called a “pick window.” Hops are ready for picking when the moisture level in the hop cone reaches a certain point. Roughly, 75 to 80 percent moisture means the hop is ready for harvest. It might hit the mark this week, or next. When it happens, it happens. The pick window opens.
The picking season typically begins in late July or early August and stretches through to early October. Some varieties are ready earlier in the picking season while others are ready later in the season. Each variety fits into a pick window: early, mid, or late.
For instance, Centennial hops and Sabro hops are usually picked early in the picking season, while Chinook hops and Bravo hops are typically picked late in the season. Citra and Mosaic hops are considered mid-season hops. Check out the chart below to see what and when CLS Farms is offering brewers this year.
For beer drinkers, this helps explain why you tend to drink Centennial fresh hop beers early in the season and Chinook fresh hop beers late in the season, and so on.
Here are the fresh hop varieties CLS Farms will offer brewers this year, including the pick window for each.
BTW, CLS Farms’ pricing is $4/lb and there’s no minimum required. If you have any questions, contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org.