Wet Hopped Beers in Wisconsin – 2014

wet hoppedWhile Wisconsin lacks the plethora of hop farms that other Midwestern states may have, breweries here are making the most of what they have — churning out some intriguing and exciting offerings. It’s quality over quantity when we’re talking about wet hopped beers in Wisconsin.

In The Bottle

Three Sheeps Brewing in Sheboygan will be releasing a wet hop beer as a part of their Nimble Lips, Noble Tongue Series called Volume 4. It is a wet hopped version of their brilliant harvest ale, Autumnal Hoppiness, that uses 70 lbs of fresh Cascade hops picked fresh. 22 oz bombers and ⅙ barrels will be available in two weeks, both throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.

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From the Tap

Best know for its European beer styles, Sprecher Brewing will be releasing it’s WIPL (Wisconsin Pale Lager) later this month. It’s brewed with freshly picked Wisconsin Cascade hops and will only be available on draft this year.

Hydro Street Brewing in Columbus, WI just brewed a Fresh Hopped IPA that will be ready in a week or so at the brewery.

If you’re crazy about wet hops, look no further than One Barrel Brewing Company. This year, they’re going absolutely bananas with wet hops, offering a whopping four selections. All of these beers are brewed with local hops, with some from legitimate hopyards and others from local enthusiasts’ private, backyard stash of wet hops.

Fresh Hop Cascade American Pale Ale – 5% ABV 34 IBUs – A crisp and balanced American pale ale with a huge late addition of Fitchburg, WI grown Cascade hops just hours after being cut and picked.This beer is bursting with zesty lemon and grapefruit hop notes that blend perfectly with a strong, pale malt profile.

Fresh Hop Centennial American India Pale Ale – 6.5% ABV 80 IBUs – This is a big, strong hop bomb that got a huge late addition and hop rest of freshly picked, Mukwonago grown Centennial hops. The beer is hoppy from start to finish with a wide range of flavors and aromas present including spicy lemongrass, citrus fruit, eucalyptus and mint.

Fresh Hop India Brown Ale with Fuggle Hops – 7% ABV 60 IBUs – A big brown ale bursting with chocolate malt flavor and a powerful earthy hop aroma from a late addition of freshly picked, Mukwonago grown Fuggle hops. This is a very flavorful beer with a delectably full body with notes of caramel, chocolate, toffee, evergreen, floral and grass.

Fresh Hop English Extra Special Bitter Ale – 5.5%ABV 30 IBUs – A well-built English ale with a malt profile of caramel and biscuit that gives way to a slightly sweet, spicy, floral hop character that can only be achieved by the huge addition of Fitchburg grown Golding Hops fresh off the bine. An endlessly intriguing melding of malt and hop sweetness

All offerings are draft only at the brewery, being released on October, 2nd 2014.  Don’t wait on these, as a very limited amount of each has been brewed.

Pitchfork Brewing in Hudson, WI is offering their Wet Hopped IPA.  This is a Lighter IPA with 100% Centennial Hops from Heavenly Hills Hop Farm in Central WI.  This brew is being released as part of Pitchfork’s Harvest Fest on October, 11th.  While you may be able to get a pint or growler in the brewery, your best bet at trying this beer is attending the festival, where many other fall brews will be unveiled.

Sand Creek Brewing Company has just released Red Headed Wild Ride. This is a wet hopped version of Sand Creek’s Wild ride IPA, appropriately named after Amy Wiegand who is the grower and owner of Redhead hops.  Sand Creek used Amy’s Centennial Hops as well as some Cascade hops from Al Kochenderfer.  In total, over 190 lbs of wet hops were used.

The South Shore Brewery in Ashland, WI will be brewing it’s Wet Hopped Ale.  This brew could be regarded as a very pale ESB and features freshly harvested Wisconsin grown Nugget and Sterling hops. This takes South Shore Brewery another step towards its goal of exclusive use of regional and locally grown ingredients.

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While we scoured brewery websites and social media and sent emails and filled out contact forms we know there’s a chance we missed a beer or two. However we feel this is a pretty comprehensive rundown of wet hopped beers in Indiana. If we missed something feel free to chime in below with a comment. To find out what other state’s are up to, follow the links below.

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Ben earned his craft beer chops working at West Lakeview Liquors and Galleria Liquors -- both in Chicago -- before taking his knowledge north to Wisconsin. He's now a member of the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild and traverses the state looking for craft beer worth crossing the border for.