Tyler Papp, head brewer with White Sails Brewing in Nanaimo, jokes around with fresh hops, a key ingredient in some of the seasonal beers coming out soon. Courtesy Victoria Beer Week

MATTER OF BEER: Getting Fresh in the Fall

Monday columnist Mathieu Poirier looks at fresh-hopped beers that mark harvest season

One of the best parts of the seasonal change is the anticipation of new beers on the shelves that fit the changes in temperature. At this time of year, harvest time, one of the more anticipated styles coming are fresh-hopped beers.

Mathieu Poirier, Monday Magazine beer columnist

Also referred to as wet-hopped, these beers are brewed with the freshest of hops, picked then soon after used in a wide variety of recipes with no additional processing. Because the hops don’t get pelletized, the flavour profile can be smoother and full flavoured as opposed to the big, hoppy flavours found in year-round beers.

A great way to experience this amazing variety of hops and styles is at an event returning from a year’s hiatus, Victoria Beer Week’s Fresh to Death. Happening Oct. 6 at the Roundhouse at Bayview Place, this event is organized by the same energetic people who put on Beer Week every March and some big changes are planned.

The 105-year-old venue along Esquimalt Road, a stone’s throw from Spinnakers Brewpub, is a great way to have the nice crisp autumn vibe while staying dry if it rains. If still available, the VIP package is an amazing deal. For an additional $20, you get to experience a guided tasting of four beers with certified cicerone and Category 12 Brewing sales manager Jeff Kendrew, and receive an additional six tokens and early entry.

Some beers to watch for include the 1000 Mile IPA, from Wheelhouse Brewing in Prince Rupert. It’s brewed with hops from Chilliwack and shipped back to Victoria for this event. And there’s the fresh-hopped beer that started it all here in BC, Driftwood Brewing’s Sartori Harvest, which is marking its 10th anniversary.

Base tickets start at $30 and include a tasting glass and four beer tokens, while VIP tickets are $50. All tickets can be purchased through victoriabeerweek.com. Additional beer tokens are $1.75 and food trucks will be on site.

If fresh hopped beers aren’t your cup of tea, consider travelling to another great event happening Oct. 12. Joe Wiebe, also known as The Thirsty Writer, is co-producing an event with Pacific Opera Victoria. A Grand Tour of Beer, being held at the Baumann Centre, features a journey through five regions known for and accompanied by their beer styles and classical music. Tickets are $40, include five 10 oz. pours and can be purchased through POV.

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