Great Divide Brewing Co. “Fresh Hop”

January 11, 2012

Friends, my time in Mobile is at an end and I am come to stay. The company for which I work is always planning and scheming… twirling their mustaches like Snidely Whiplash and snickering maniacally.

Actually, the powers that be collectively decided that there’s a project better-suited for my abilities that also serves to grow our already expanding family in exciting new directions. Keep your eyes open for news on that.

I had finally taken the last heavy box down the long flight of stairs to the hauling truck, the floors had been swept and mopped and the empty Planter’s Chipotle Snack Mix containers but a distant memory. I cracked open my final bottle of Porterhouse Oyster Stout and sat in my windowsill to take in the view of downtown Mobile one last time. The vista I had over lower Dauphin (LoDa to the locals) was one of the main perks of that apartment; the RSA Tower, The Renaissance Hotel and the Van Antwerp building all framing the charming old-world cityscape.

I made the time to take stock of everything accomplished over the last 10 months while enjoying my vantage point over the Christmas lights. There was also much thought given to what’s to come in this very young new year. Although I’m not originally from Pensacola, I have spent more time here than anywhere else in my life. I am most certainly home, but it’s a return with all new beginnings.

Getting a fresh start in life calls for a Fresh Hop Ale from Great Divide Brewing in Colorado. Great Divide’s been pleasing beer fans for 18 years now and hauling in many very deserved awards in the process. Fresh-, or wet-, hopping ale means that the hops were picked and used in less than 24 hours. The flavors come out brighter and lighter than the concentrated alpha oils found in dried hops and hop pellets and the result is a citrusy, flavorful beer that never feels heavy.

In the case of Great Divide’s Fresh Hop, the color is hazy apricot with a massive head of white rocky foam. Those fresh hop oils ensure the lacing clings to the glass like spider webs while gorgeous scents of recently-mowed grass and tropical fruits get dominated by tangerine and grapefruit. There’s a small touch of malt sweetness reminiscent of dessert pastry both at the end of the nose and behind the flavors of pine, caramel, pineapple and a whole orchard of citrus. The beer is also fully sessionable with its crisp mouth feel, light body and moderate alcohol content (6.1%).

Available at both ‘Bama and local Hopjacks, it’s a tasty bridge that’s brought me back home.