Dec 8, 2017

Sierra Nevada Fresh Hop IPA

Yesterday, we took a look at the first of Sierra Nevada’s Fresh Hop variety pack, the Fresh Hop Session IPA. That little brew was tasty, but like many of the lower ABV IPAs I’ve come across in recent years, it felt too light in body. The California brewery’s Fresh Hop IPA is a completely different beer of course, but it brings that oomph it’s little sibling lacked.

It’s obviously that all of the beers in this special variety box are crafted and hopped with different varieties and that’s a good thing. They may share some similarities, but while the Session IPA was more earthy and catty, this Fresh Hop IPA hints more toward citrus and orange with a more pronounced balance and drinkability. The fresh hops certainly provide a leafy and earthy character. The moderate hop bitterness is paired nicely with a fuller malt bill as soft bread notes and caramel linger nicely amongst pine and grapefruit.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Fresh Hop IPA. The session was a bit too watery on the palate for my liking and the Fresh Hop Double IPA (not reviewed) was a bit underwhelming. This 6.5% ABV brew hit just about all the marks for me. It’s refreshing, lively, fresh and earthy, and also presents a fairly well balanced drinking experience. It’s not over-the-top in any aspect and just goes down super smooth. I’m a fan of the company’s Celebration (also included in this pack), but I think the Fresh Hop IPA was my favorite of the bunch.