Ready for Beer-jolais Nouveau Day?

on 22/11/10 at 9:47 am


Fresh hops

Could fresh hops do for beer what Beaujolais Nouveau does for wine?

On the third Thursday of every November (today), vintners in France have been releasing a kind of red wine called Beaujolais Nouveau.

The wine isn’t powerful or rich or even that all that good. Its main quality is light freshness. It’s fermented for just a few weeks and is meant to be imbibed immediately.

In the United States, in the late summer and early fall each year, breweries around the country converge on hops farms in the Pacific Northwest — and increasingly at hops farms closer to home — and then rush back to their breweries to make fresh-hopped beers.

The goal is to capture the more citrusy, grassy flavors that fade just a few hours after harvesting.

Once they are brewed, however, these beers — also known as wet-hopped beers — are released any time between August and November.

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