If you thought fresh hop beer season had already come and gone, well, you’re in luck. Last week Phillips Brewing announced the release of their Lumberjacked Fresh Hop Pale Ale at a press conference in Vancouver with new NDP agriculture minister Lana Popham along for the ride. Why all the pomp and circumstance? Lumberjacked is unique in that it is one of the first beers brewed using all B.C. ingredients, including a B.C.-produced proprietary hop strain. (Although Crannog Ales, with their homegrown Sockeye hops, might have technically been first.)
B.C. Hop Co.’s brand new trademarked Lumberjack hops take centre stage in this beer (hence the name), and offer some piney bitterness and floral citrus and melon aroma – not dissimilar to Cascade, Centennial, Colombus and Chinook hop varieties.
“It’s a big ‘C’ hop with the ‘C’,” says proud poppa Dwayne Stewart of B.C. Hop Co. of his newest hop baby.
B.C. Hop Co. is the exclusive producer of this strain, which was grown in the Fraser Valley. The barley used in Lumberjacked was also locally grown, coming from Vancouver Island and malted at Phillips’ own malthouse in Victoria.
So if you’ve ever wanted to taste B.C. in a glass, here’s your chance.
The beer itself is a hop-forward Northwest pale ale, exploding with pine and floral citrus aromas thanks to the use of fresh, unkilned, unprocessed hops. The hop bitterness is pronounced, but is balanced by a nutty, caramel malt character. The finish is clean and dry with little lingering bitterness. The hopheads will love this one, but it’s balanced and easy-drinking enough to make it a crowd-pleaser as well.
As with all fresh hop beers, don’t let this one sit around on the shelf too long; drink it ASAP!
Available in 650mL bottles at select B.C. private liquor stores and on tap exclusively at Tap and Barrel’s three Vancouver locations while supplies last.
Phillips Brewing Lumberjacked Fresh Hop Pale Ale (5.6% ABV)
Colour: Deep amber/orange with a dense white head.
Aroma: Pine, floral, citrus, caramel, grapefruit.
Flavour: Citrus, pine, floral, caramel, nutty, melon, mild spice, slightly herbal.
Body: Light-medium bodied, medium-high carbonation, dry finish.
Pair with: Salty snacks, charcuterie, sharp cheddar, flannel and long walks in the woods.