October is the traditional time for end-of-the-season harvesting and hops are no exception. That's good news for beer lovers, as several breweries take advantage of this fact, creating beers flavored by hops sourced from nearby farms. For Idaho's entry, it's Wilder; for Washington, Yakama; and for Oregon, Linn County.
Fort George Fresh IPA, $3.50-$4
A fresh, wet hop pounder from this Astoria, Ore. brewery, it pours a hazy straw color with a thin but persistent head. Opens with earthy hops, herb, caramel and apricot. The palate is a perfect mix of lightly bitter, floral hops; creamy tropical fruit (mango, papaya, Meyer lemon); and subtle caramel malt. Finishes smooth and dry with a light hit of pine.
Fremont Field to Ferment Fresh Hop Pale Ale, $1.60-$1.90
A tan, two finger head tops this hazy, tangerine colored brew—it fades quickly but leaves a sticky lacing. Hops dominate the nose, fresh and fruity with a resiny backbone. Though it's billed as a pale ale, the hop bite in this Seattle-based entry is predominant, much more so than with the Fort George IPA. Those hops blend well with sweet grapefruit and soft malt flavors. Nice bite to the finish.
Sockeye Fresh Hop Double Dagger Imperial IPA, $3.50-$4
Our own local stalwart has given us this amber ale topped by a thick froth that fades quickly. Its big hop aromas live up to the Imperial IPA moniker. Starts out with more big, but not overly bitter, hops on the palate as well, yielding to ripe grapefruit, pear and pineapple flavors in the middle, and finishing with deliciously gritty hops on the creamy finish.