The hops are always greener on the other side. Once a year American craft brewers receive an allotted amount of wet hops that have a ticking flavor bomb the second they are picked. Wet hops, for the novices, is an unprocessed harvest of hops that have a shelf life of 24-48 hours. The result is a punch in the mouth of flavor and aroma that frankly, dry hops cannot deliver alone. Like The Tank Brewing, many craft beer businesses have a wet hop brew on deck in preparation for this annual beer nerd Christmas. This year Culture Designers were on the scene of the yearly hustle and bustle day at the brewery.
The amount of wet hops received at the The Tank was about 60 pounds. We witnessed as all hands on deck were lowering this wet hop gold delicately and with precision into a housing that worked to extract all of the desirable flavors and aromas.
The quality control is meticulously attended to at the brewery. Wet hops, here, is measured attentively. Sensory metrics testing occurs every few minutes. The process of purging all of the oxygen with carbon dioxide to prevent the oxidation is an invaluable one. The sweet spot, so to speak, of flavor is pulled off only by the trained palates of the aficionados. Brewers are given one shot per year to maximize on their wet hops spoils, so no pressure.
You can find the brew making its rounds around town now. Happy sipping!