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Bent Water Beer 101: What’s a Wet Hop Beer?

This month, we’re highlighting local businesses as part of our #StayLocal2020 campaign. Scroll to the bottom for more information.

From Bent Water Brewing

Recently we released a small batch Wet Hop IPA that we brewed on our innovation pilot system. Since it’s such a small batch, it’s not a beer we’re canning. Instead, we released it in kegs to a few bars and restaurants in our core Eastern MA territory.

It’s received a good amount of interest, but a question we’ve received more than a few times is, what’s a wet hop beer?

The simple answer is it’s a beer that uses the very freshest hops available. Oddly enough, given New England’s recognition for IPAs, very few beers in the region are made using fresh hops. They’re a lot more popular in the Pacific Northwest given the number of hop farms in the region.

In the northern hemisphere, hop season occurs each year during the months of August and September. The exact harvest time varies for each hop varietal based on its moisture content. Moisture levels are measured consistently by hop farmers to know when the time is right for harvest. 

Wet hop beers use these freshly harvested hops, rather than concentrated hop pellets, cryo hops, or lupulin powder, that are most often used when making beer. Hop pellets, formed from smashing dried hops into small pellets, are also used for the popular dry-hopping technique. 

According to the Brewers Association’s style guidelines, a fresh hop or wet hop beer must be “hopped with freshly harvested hops either undried (wet) or kilned (dried).” Most brewers agree that with fresh or wet hop beers, the hops must be used within 24 hours of their harvest.

Wet hop beers are the freshest type of fresh hop beers because the hops contain more moisture.

Why use freshly picked hops? They give off more hop taste and often come with less of the bitterness that can typically come with certain hop varietals. Usually they’re used in pale ales or IPAs, but sometimes are even used with other styles, like a pilsner or saison.

Where can I find Bent Water’s Wet Hop IPA on draught in MA?

  • Tremonte Pizza (Tyngsboro)
  • The Barrelman (Marblehead)
  • Finn’s (Hyannis)
  • Union Brew House (Weymouth)
  • Corner Pub of Chinatown (Boston)
  • Banners Kitchen & Tap (Boston)

SHOP LOCAL! Support the small businesses that make up your community and are owned by your friends, neighbors, and fellow community members.

If you are a business and are interested in being part of this initiative please visit creativecollectivema.com/join and sign up for our comprehensive business program!

#staylocallynn • #staylocalsalem • #staylocalpeabody • #staylocalbeverly • #staylocalmarblehead

We wanted to shine a spotlight on many of the small businesses that make up the fabric of our communities and support them as much as we can throughout the Winter.

Stay tuned to this event for information on businesses throughout the North shore. We will be highlighting the humans behind the small businesses, showcasing specials and promotions, and also curating experiences that will make your local shopping even better!A priority this year will be to educate consumers on the safety protocols that so many of our fantastic businesses have implemented in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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