Below, I share the list of winners at the 2022 Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival, which took place last Saturday, but first I want to tell you a bit about the festival itself. (Above: the crew from Stoup Brewing, winners of Best in Show this year.)
Like many festivals, Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival is also a judged beer competition. Awards are simple, with a winning beer selected in three categories, as well as a Best in Show winner that might come from any of those categories. Of all beers judged, the highest score is awarded Best in Show.
The Fresh Hop Ale Festival was created in 2003 as a fundraiser for local arts organizations. Back then, “wet hop” or “fresh hop” beers were practically unheard of. At that first festival, less than 10 breweries poured their fresh hop creations.
Fast forward to 2022 and the Fresh Hop Ale Festival features 70 breweries, and 7,000 festivalgoers. It is recognized by several beer publications as one of the nation’s best beer festivals. This publication is one of them.
There is something special about Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival that escapes explanation. It’s a community event, not just a beer fest. It is beloved by breweries, hop farmers, hop industry workers, the beer-drinking public, and right-minded people who just want to support local arts organizations in the Yakima Valley. And of course, the beer is spectacular.
The breweries that are lucky enough to get involved in the event always put their best foot forward. The panel of judges takes its role very seriously. I have served as one of those judges several times, so I know.
The List of Winners
All that being said, here is the list of winners at the 2022 Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival. Congratulations to the breweries that took home the honors.
Best in Show
Mosaic Fresh Hop Fiend IPA- Sauve & Son
“The 10th in our 2022 Fresh Hop Fiend Series, Mosaic Fresh Hop Fiend is packed with 300 pounds per batch of Mosaic fresh hops from our friends at Sauve & Son Farms in Mabton, WA. Mosaic brings aroma of mango, berry and dankness. Drink it fast and fresh!”
1st Place Pale Ale
Old Schoolhouse Brewery
Fresh Hop “Riff” Stowaway Pale
Malt: 2-Row Pilsner, Rice Hulls, C15, Rolled Oats
Hops: Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic followed by wet Citra from Perrault Farms.
“Our Fresh Hop Riff off our classic Stowaway Pale Ale. Grab one during fresh hop season and prepare to be blown away.”
1st Place IPA
Single Hill Brewing Company
Fresh Hop Lateral A
“Fresh Hop Lateral A is Single Hill brewing’s annual collaboration with Zeek’s Pizza. A juicy, dreamy fresh hop IPA brewed with wet and kilned HBC-586, wet HBC-1019, and kilned Talas and Ekuanot.”
1st Place Imperial
Varietal Beer Company
Hyperion Fresh Hop DIPA
8.1% ABV, 50 BU
“Wet hop double IPA collab with Structures Brewing from Bellingham WA, featuring 30lbs per bbl of unkilned Simcoe hops from Sauve & Son Farms and Carpenter Ranches. Hyperion won a silver medal at GABF in 2022 in the Fresh Hop category, as well as best Imperial IPA at Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival.”