This Saturday the Fresh to Death Beer festival takes place in Victoria B.C. It’s a celebration of fresh-hopped beers from around B.C.
Due to the nature of fresh hopping, i.e., it’s dependent on when the hops are ready, it’s really hard to say with any certainty when these beers will be ready. Therefore, we’re only now getting the list of beers, a couple of days before the event.
There’s some great breweries at this year’s event and I plan on trying every single beer.
Get our tickets here.
Here’s my top recommendations:
Driftwood Brewery – Sartori Harvest IPA: Perhaps the greatest fresh-hopped IPA ever released, if not the best IPa in general. Driftwood gets the hops for this magic elixir from the Sartori hop farm in Columbia Valley, B.C. A few other breweries makes fresh-hopped IPAs with their hops, but nobody does it quite like Driftwood!
Phillips Brewery – Green Reaper: For the longest time Phillips were using Sartori hops, just like Driftwood, Steamworks, Hoyne, and countless others. However, in the wake of the craft beer revolution many hops farms have cropped up (get it) on Vancouver Island, so they no longer have to ship product over from the mainland. They are now getting their hops from a hop farm on the Saanich peninsula, so the hops can be added to the beer within hours of being picked. This has resulted in the best batch they’ve ever made! I’ve had several bottles already!
Longwood – 40km West Hop SMASH ISA: I don’t normally go in for ISAs. I mean, what’s the point? Man up and drink an IPA you big pussy! It’s like drinking Bud lite, FFS. However, this one has two things counting in its favour: first, the hops are sourced withing 40km, so are guaranteed fresh; second, it’s a SMASH, that is single malt, single hop, which is like the beer equivalent of a single malt whiskey. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. The joy is in finding out.
Lighthouse Brewing – Roadtrip fresh–hopped dark ale –I have to admit that I’m not the biggest proponent of Lighthouse. I tend to find their beers too MOR, much like Vancouver Island Brewery. However, it’s rare that you will find a fresh-hopped beer that isn’t a pale ale or IPA. This is what makes this unique dark ale so special—it’s basically a fresh-hopped black IPA! *drool*
Dogwood Brewery – Fresh-hopped Organic ESB: I’m English, so it’s pretty much my cultural duty to try an ESB. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so kudos to Dogwood for drifting from the norm and not just doing a pale ale or IPA.