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Wet Hopped Ales

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Matt Tunnell

Frisbee player, beer lover

   Fall is my favorite season and fall beers play a large part of that.  Fall usually brings a slew of warm, malty flavors in the form of nutty brown ales or spiced pumpkin beers.  However, one variety of fall beer really stands out from this trend, looking back to spring and capturing bright, intense, and even green flavors.  This fresh-hopped, wet-hopped or, occasionally, harvest ale is brewed with hops within days of their harvest.
    These freshly picked hops are at the height of their aroma, which is infused into the beer at the end of the boil when the warm wort is run through a chamber known as a hopback on its way to the fermenter.  The flavors of a fresh-hopped ale are familiar, like an IPA or pale ale, but the fresh hops add a new dimension.  Citrus  and tropical fruit flavors will come across as juice-like while grassy and piney flavors will be downright resinous.
    Like the hops themselves, fresh-hopped ales fade quickly, so I'd recommend acting quickly to seek out some of the gems listed below.

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