Hale’s Ales Fresh Hop ISA: This fresh hop beer is brewed in Seattle, WA to a strength of 4.7% abv with fresh Cascade hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley – as well as some Bravo and Sorachi ace hops. I found this randomly in Vancouver BC, which is odd because I never see Hale’s Ales here, but needless to say I was happy to find another new-for-me USA fresh hop beer to try out.
Aroma and Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy pale yellow golden colour with 2 fingers of foam and a medium level of carbonation. Its aroma features lots of straw, hay and lemon notes with some floral overtones throughout the aromatics.
Flavour: It has some light straw and hay malts with faint oily lemon notes up front, which is quickly followed by an incredibly soothing freshly brewed chamomile tea like middle. As the beer moves into its finish, some mild fruity peaches arise before it ends with a grapefruit bitterness and a rind-like aftertaste that leaves you wanting another sip.
Overall Impression: Pretty nice for a lower alcohol craft beer as I thought the fresh hops worked well with the lighter malt profile.
Rating: I give it a very good rating of 7/10. A nice offering and solid edition to this year’s hop harvest releases.
Food Pairing: Go light with this one, let it work with mozzarella cheese melted on a grainey flat bread with arugula or some other subtle leafy green.
Here’s one of the boxes of Cascade hops that was shipped to them, look at the nice green colour and the large cones pictured below from their Facebook Page. It must be incredible opening up a box like this and smell all those amazing hop aromas!