Beer lovers in Central Oregon have it pretty good as of late. First was the Bend Brewfest, then the wood-aged beer festival known as the Little Woody. Now comes the Sisters Fresh Hop Festival, which takes over the Village Green Park in Sisters next weekend.
As many know, beer is flavored with hops. If you've been to the Deschutes Brewery tour, you've held these pungent cones in your hand. For the most part, hops are dried. Drying hops increases their shelf life as well as the predictability of the characteristics they'll impart on the beer. But drying hops reduces their fragrant and flavor-giving essential oils. With fresh hops, the hop cones are picked straight from the vine and added to brews within hours of harvesting, imparting a woodsy and earthy flavor to brews. Yum.
The Sisters Fresh Hop Festival is the first of numerous similar festivals throughout Oregon. Join other beer lovers from noon - 9pm Saturday, September 25. Over ten breweries will be pouring fresh-hopped beers, including Three Creeks, Cascade Lakes, Deschutes and Boneyard. There will also be live music from locals including Anastacia and Boxcar String Band.