Fresh Hop Beers By The Bushel At 2017 BC Hop Fest in Abbotsford
The 3rd annual BC hop fest returns to Abbotsford BC on Sept. 30, 2017. In the fields in which the hops themselves were grown, 35+ BC craft breweries will congregate to pour their amazing fresh hop creations from the 2017 weather-induced bumper hop crop. Sunny skies and warm temperatures made 2017 one of the best growing seasons in decades and you can reap the benefits in the form of deliciously fresh, craft beer.
Grown on vines, some 15 feet high suspended in a high wire act, the hop cones soak in the rays and create what resembles a yellow oily pollen called lupulin. It is here that we find alpha acid, the base of the delicious hop flavours. Classic and widely used Northwest hop varieties include familiar names such as Centennial, Columbus, Chinook, Cascade and more. Each variety holds a key to a unique flavour profile that is centered around pine, citrus-fruit and earthy tones that are the building blocks of our favourite IPAs, Pale Ales and Blondes. BC craft beer was built upon the celebration of Northwest Hop flavour.
With the explosion of hop farming in BC over the past decade along side the proliferation of craft breweries, BC residents have never had it so good when hop harvest season rolls around. Five years ago, come October, a small handful of fresh hopped beers would be released. As we look at the fall of 2017, don’t be surprised if there are somewhere in the range of 50+ local breweries that try their hand at such a beer. The number could end up even higher too, with 37 confirmed breweries to date set to attend this year’s BC Hop Fest.
What are some of the Beer Styles To Expect at BC Hop Fest?
The Notorious H.O.P. – Driftwood’s Sartori Harvest IPA
The beer that opened BC craft beer drinker’s eyes to fresh hops is the Driftwood Sartori Harvest. This India Pale Ale is known for its fresh grass, intense pine and earthy citrus notes. Some say it’s over-hyped but still, this beer sells out immediately every year. Expect to see this notorius beer as well as plenty more IPAs and Pale Ales on the shelves this year.
Emerging Twisted Style – Field House – Sour IPA
Also named after the infamous Sartori Hop Farm, some brewers have tried to deviate from only brewing pale ales and IPAs. In 2016 Field House brewed a sour IPA. If you peruse the shelves of your local liquor store this October you will likely find lagers, blondes, sours, and more in the 2017 offerings.
How Can You Be A Fresh Hop Master and Catch Them All?
Fresh hop beers are intensely flavoured but also have an extremely short shelf life. As quickly as these beers arrive, they need to disappear as the fresh hop flavour deteriorates quite quickly. There is to be no cellaring of these beers and if you are purchasing bombers, you will need to act quick if you want to try them all!
That said, there is another way. BC Hop Fest is the only fresh hop festival to be taking place in BC during 2017. Rather than committing to 24oz bottle of each beer, in a festival environment you can experience each beer in 4oz samples. If you find your new favorite though, you could always go back for more. Here, it is possible to try 10, or 20+ beers in a day as opposed to the alternative. Plus, many fresh hop beers are only available at the breweries where they were brewed and won’t be packaged. This is a great opportunity to try some small batch, extremely limited edition brews.
How Can I Be A Part of This?
Date: Sept. 30, 2017
Time: :1:00PM – 6:00PM
Location: 1905 Cole Road Abbotsford B.C.
General Admission: $33.25
VIP Admission (18 tokens): $55.00
General Admission (with Vancouver shuttle): $70.00
Learn more about this year’s BC Hop Fest at www.bchop.ca/events/hop-fest/