Brew Review: Chasin’ Freshies

9 Aug

freshiesBrew: Chasin’ Freshies
Brewed by: Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR)
Style: American Fresh Hop IPA (7.4% ABV)

Another offering from the great Deschutes brewery, this one is part of the Bond Street Series that the brewery has experimented with. This brew is available from Oct. – Dec. and I am writing this review up from old notes from last year. So if this review really turns you on to this beer it should be showing up here in the next couple months for your drinking pleasure. This beer is described as a fresh hop IPA, I’ll let Deschutes explain that further: “At harvest, we rush Goschie Farms’ Cascade hops fresh from vine to kettle. Not any Cascades, mind you, but an heirloom strain, from a single field, restored from the original rhizome.” So this brew is a fresh Cascade beer, an idea I really like and hoped worked for this beer.
The Freshie poured out a golden yellow. It was clear and the bubbles keep rising, solid carbonation. The carbonation creates a thin white head, not especially impressive but the beer looked tasty either way.
The aroma was of grassy herbal hops. I usually think cascade hops lend bright citrus and floral aromas and tastes. However, this one seemed more like a nugget hop was present with the herbal and earthy tones I smelled. After the hops, there was a faint bready malt character that came through. Looking up the beer on the Brewery website it looks like they brewed it was pilsner malt and flaked oats which definitely lends to the basic malt bill and basic bread aromas coming off the beer.
On to how the beer tastes. Up front on the first sip there was the floral hop taste that I have come to expect from cascades. After that bit of floral goodness, which you could tell at least for a bit was from fresh hops, the bitterness swung in. After that there really isn’t much to talk about. After the initial fresh cascade floral treat the bitterness came and dominated the taste and didn’t really leave room for anything else.
The idea of this beer is a good one, take a super basic recipe, cascades and pilsner malt and add a little twist, the fresh hops. Seems like a great idea since the cascades are such a versatile and well known hop. However, it sort of fell short in my opinion. I think they tried to do this as an IPA when they should have done sort of what Schell’s did with their Fresh Hop Pils. The basic pils beer was great, just like Deschutes Mirror Pond or Inversion IPA is and with an addition of fresh cascades it could be even better. Thinking back on the description from the website it looks like this is an old school rhizome of the cascade hop which also might have had something to do with how this turned out. Hops have become higher in the acids that lend bitterness and their amazing aromas and flavors over the years and maybe this strand was a subtle earlier ancestor of what we know as cascades today. Needless to say I think I should probably try this one again to give it another opinion, oh well more beer for me.

Final Grade: B-

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