I planted some hops the year before I moved here with the plan of making a home-brew filled up with fresh-picked green hops. I never made it and I really didn't think it up at all but it sure has taken off as a style in the last few years:
First there was Beaujolais nouveau. Now comes beer nouveau. The end of the growing season has been celebrated by everyone from apple growers to winemakers, but lately brewers have started marking the renewal of their own annual cycle, with beers that are brewed with hops picked only a few hours before. Called "fresh hop," "wet hop" or harvest beers, they begin appearing in late September, typically on tap and lasting only until the kegs run dry.Here is a story here calling them "harvest ales" as well as "wet hop." I have one by that name in the stash from Southern Tier but their harvest ale seems to be not a wet hop, just an regular if very hoppy APA. Hey, there is a festival for this this weekend in Hayward, California at a place called The Bistro - a place of many festivals. I have sent a electronic communication to see if they can fill me in more on the style. I will let you know what I learn but feel free to give me what edjification you can on this important topic.
Update: Hey presto! The response was in the email this morning:
Vic KraljDagnabbit - 3 to 4 months! Dastardly hop acid deterioration at play. Unless I am wrong - it seems too bad that no one in the entire country of Canada is picking up on this trend.
to me 12:40 am (6 hours ago)
Good day Alan,
Now in our 3rd year of doing this fest we have grown every year as more brewers try to pull off brewing this style of beer. We feature mostly Ca. beers,but some also from oregon. Some include Russian River,Sierra, Pizza ports, Bear Republic,Stone, Moonlight, Drakes, Magnolia, Rogue to name a few. This year it looks as though we will have 21.
Most all of these beer are brewed within 24 hours of being picked right off the Vine. In 2002 i Brewed with Vinnie @ Russian River and we picked hops all morning and had them in the kettle by 11am. They add a zest to the beer,almost resineey if you will, a full hop richness that only last in the keg for a short period say 3 to 4 months. They are the best as fresh as you can gets your lips on one. I personally love this style and I think any brewer that loves the art of brewin should go threw the hassel of brewing one. They will be hooked.