Recommended by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue
Being a beer lover in the Pacific Northwest can sometimes feel like death by a thousand IPAs. At some point, the bitter, hoppy onslaught is too much for my taste buds, and I revert to the gentler, more understated domain of pilsners and pale ales. But then fresh hop season rolls around and I remember that, contrary to what all the one-dimensional hop monsters out there might lead you to believe, hops are our friends. Fresh hop IPA is made with whole fresh hops, as opposed to compressed hop pellets. The difference might seem insignificant, given that it's all the same hops with the same terpenes at the end of the day, but an Amarillo flower pulled straight off the vine and tossed into the boil does something very different from an Amarillo pellet. Fresh hop IPAs are lush and vegetal, offering you the richest expression of the hop possible. There is no purer way to experience the hop and its terroir, and no more potent reminder of why we love IPAs so goddamn much. Fremont has a line of fresh hop IPAs celebrating individual hops, as well as a single farm brew. You should get them, and you should also keep your eye out for two of my other favorite fresh hop makers' releases—Schooner Exact and Two Beers.