Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bridgeport Hop Harvest Ale 2011


Type: Imperial IPA
Origin: Portland, OR
Price: $6.49/22 oz
ABV: 6.56%
NSP: 6.57 (unscaled)

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Spent a week up in Portland and plowed my way through a number of the local beers, so here's the first of my 2011 Portland Thanksgiving BeerPlow series. I focused mainly on IPAs (with a couple of exceptions), since a) doing so allows for comparison to the predominant San Diego style, and b) that's what I felt like drinking at the time. Expectations ran high, since most of the hops used on the west coast are grown in Portland's backyard. And, from what I can tell, the Bridgeport Hop Harvest is an homage to the local hop growers.

The bottle says "from field to brew in one hour." Remember the process for the Port High TIde? These guys pretty much shit all over that. They get a phone call from the farm telling them the hops are ready, they drive out there, they pick up the hops, they go back to the brewery, they toss 'em in. Maximum hop freshness: achievement unlocked. The freshness shows right up front, with a boatload of florality (floralness? I like florality more) and citrus. The flavor's nice and intense in terms of hoppiness, with a bunch of orange and a really interesting squash/pumpkin/sweet potato thing going on. It's delicate and very clean, with a similarly clean finish. A Green Flash-style pinebomb this is not. When I initially saw the ABV, I scoffed a bit (an IIPA at 6.56%?), but in this case more booze would probably just mask all of the standout features of this beer.

All in all, a good start, Portland.

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