A truly wet hopped beer, NBB incorporates freshly picked flowers that endure a quick road trip from Washington state to the brewery where they are then added to the boil. After reading the following article on Billy’s blog (a great blog to check out), I changed our beer style label from “wet/fresh hop beers” to “wet/harvest hop beers” to try and reflect the fact that some “fresh” beers are not actually right-off-the-vine additions.
I’m a sucker for these seasonal beers that utilizes wet hop cones. They provide a very interesting look into the aroma and flavor of the hop without having an insane about of bitterness. Additionally, I’m not much of a New Belgium fan, but I’m trying to overcome some self induced preconceived notions and giving them another try. Boy, did it pay off.
This beer is chalk full of yummy, juicy hop flavor! Both the nose and taste are bursting with citrus and floral hop layers. The color was a light bronze hue that looked like a very drinkable APA. There was a fluffy dense head that left rings after ever sip. Pretty close to Firestone Walker’s Union Jack IPA as far as the aroma goes. Citrus notes of pineapple, apple, slight grapefruit, lemon, pine, honey, and herbs made up the hop profile. It was bright and lively. Not dank or pungent despite the fact that wet hops were used. There are some sweet light caramel notes that help to slightly balance out the hops.
The flavor was much the same. Light sappy hop notes cascaded over my palate in a clean and refreshing way. Towards the end there was a bitter pop which I assumed was from the Target hops as they were the only variety that was not freshly picked. This bitterness did have a resinous, pungent aspect to it. Until that point, the hop profile was mellow and juicy. Some spicy notes danced around the malt sweetness which heightened the floral components of the hops. Overall, this was a very good brew which I would like to try again next year.