|10/1/2013 1:45:00 PM|
Fresh hop beers attract hundreds
By Jodi Schneider McNamee
|Sisters’ own Three Creeks Brewing Co. participated in the Sisters Fresh Hop Festival. photo by Jerry Baldock|
|The crew from Crux Brewing enjoys Sisters Fresh Hop Festival action. photo by Jerry Baldock|
Fresh-hopped brews from more than 15 Oregon breweries were on tap for sampling for the fourth annual Sisters Fresh Hop Festival on Saturday at Village Green Park.
John Rivera, events coordinator for the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce said, "We have more breweries and more of a crowd this year, in spite of the rainy weather."
Ty Barnett, co-owner of Goodlife Brewing from Bend, described one of their fresh hop beers brewed for the festival: "It's called 150 Hippies, a fresh hop ESB using collaborative hops from local farms and backyard enthusiasts. Local brewers actually donated their backyard brew, so we could create a beer with fresh hops, all from Central Oregon."
Live music set the stage under the roomy tent for tasting some of the best fresh hop beer brewed. Robin Anderson and The Peak kicked things off at noon followed by Greg Botsford, Leif James, and Lewi Longmire.
Folks mingled among friends, neighbors, and tourists searching for the perfect fresh hop beer to satisfy their taste buds underneath the big tent.
Hops are the female flowers of the hop plant. Depending on the style of beer, hops can add balance to the finished product through bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Once a year, in September, regional hops are plucked fresh and added to brew recipes by brewers. The first documented use of hops in beer as a flavoring agent is from the 11th century.
Pat "Patio" Shea, the head brewer for Crux Fermentation Project, offered two fresh-hopped brews.
"We are a relatively new brewery in Bend. The owner, Larry Sidor, has been in the brewing industry for 40 years. We've been open for only 14 months and this is our first time at the Sisters Fresh Hop Festival, and we are having a great
"Our friends came down from Seattle for this festival and it's my very first time here," says Lisa Sidor, Sidor's wife. "We're all wearing hats from Oktoberfest in Germany and having loads of fun here in Sisters."
Sisters' Three Creeks Brewing Co. owner, Wade Underwood, smiled as he poured.
"Every year we have new fresh hop beers, so buy your taster glass and toss your bottle cap."
Erin Borla, executive director of the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce, discussed the People's Choice Award.
"Whoever buys a souvenir taster pint glass receives a bottle cap. After tasting the many unique beers, folks will toss the bottle cap into a mason jar that has the name of their favorite brewery. Whatever brewery has the most bottle caps wins the impressive Golden Bunny Award."
Smith Rock Brewing from Redmond took the honors.
A portion of the proceeds benefited local non-profit groups and the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce High School Scholarship Fund.
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