New Brew: Founders Harvest Ale

30 Nov

Monday Night Football means a break from wine in favor of beer tonight.  In light of the season, a bottle of Founders Harvest Ale seemed appropriate.  After a string of rich, malty ales and lagers of late, the prospect of a juicy, crisp, fresh-hopped IPA sounded mighty tempting.  Wet-hopped beers are a seasonal fall specialty that, as you might predict, use fresh-from-the-vine hops instead of the more commonplace dried cones or pellets.  As such, they tend to emphasize the grassy and herbaceous characteristics of the hops and lend an overall “juicy” tone to the beer.  The use of wet hops has gained popularity recently with a number of breweries making fresh-hopped beers meant for immediate consumption, including Plover, WI’s own Central Waters, whose version I still need to try.

Beer: Founders Harvest Ale

Style: Wet-hopped IPA

Vitals: 70 IBUs, 6.5% abv

Description: “This liquid dream pours a hazy golden orange straw color with a large puffy white two-finger head. First sip of this beer rewards with a super juicy hop presence bursting with fresh orange and lemon citrus then continues to introduce toasted malt undertones. -foundersbrewing.com”

My take: The description above more or less tells the tale.  Everything about this beer screams fresh, bright, and juicy.  Citrus and herbal notes overwhelm the senses, leaving a light, grassy bitterness on the palate.  There is enough malty sweetness to bolster the luscious mouthfeel and counteract any medicinal bitterness that remains from the herbal hops.  This is a beer that, while full of flavor and rich on the palate, implores you to keep drinking.  A growler of this stuff could disappear mighty quickly.  Celebrate the harvest and pick some up while it’s fresh and available.

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