Well folks, reading week has begun for students at Carleton University. To our delight, the school decided to put it AFTER the bulk of midterms have been completed, making it essentially a drinking week… Fuck yeah.
Today I’m reviewing Autumn Hop Harvest Ale by Amsterdam Brewery out of Toronto. This beer is made using a process called “wet-hopping”. Here’s what I understand about this term:
Wet hopping simply means using freshly harvested hops in the brewing process. Hops naturally start to break down quite quickly after being harvested, which is why it is so popular to immediately dry them out and put them into pellet form for brewing. A wet-hop offers brewers a more vibrant, unique flavour which can only be attained at this beautiful time of year; hop harvest season. In order to successfully wet-hop a beer, the hops must be brought straight from the farm to the brewery and added before they decompose. This adds an element of difficulty for brewer’s, however I would imagine most of them are up for this type of challenge.
With that knowledge in your brain, let’s move on to the beer at hand.
In honour of Carleton’s new fall drinking week.
Pours clear, light amber with a small white head. Aroma is earthiness, light citrus hops, and some sweetness. Light mouth-feel with fairly high carbonation. On the palate is loads of bitter, slightly citrusy hops that are distinctively refreshing. Finish is slightly earthy and bitter.
Really great brew from Amsterdam Brewery which should entice many to try more of these wet-hopped ales. I have begun to see a few more on shelves at the LCBO, so I’ll be sure to pick up another one to get a different perspective on the style.
Personally, I’ve purchased this beer on two separate occasions, and I will likely buy it again. For lover’s of bitterness, this will tickle your fancy; however it’s probably not the best beer to use to convert Labatt Blue drinkers. Still I find it quite approachable and sessionable, and if I didn’t have to be at work in an hour I would be down to crack a few more of these bad boys.
On a side note, I’m heading home to Toronto for a few days for reading week and I plan on doing some more exploring of the craft beer scene there. Mainly looking to hit up Bellwoods Brewery as they seem to have an amazing lineup of bold beers which I won’t be able to find in Ottawa… at least not for a while. I’d love to hear your suggestions for other breweries to check out while I’m in town.
My question: What’s the coolest/weirdest beer available in Toronto at the moment?
Let me know!