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Fresh hop beer season is here, Oregon brews are getting creative

Fresh hops season comes around once a year and breweries are getting creative with the special beers.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon's fresh hop beer season is officially here and brewers are getting creative with special beers for the season that comes once a year. 

At Breakside Brewing in Milwaukie, crews are in the midst of the season. Greg Soto said they take the hops fresh from the farms and instead of drying them, they go straight into the beer.

"We typically do eight fresh hop beers," Soto said. "We have for the last several years, which definitely feels like a lot."

Soto said the fresh hops provide a unique flavor and aroma. 

"They taste a little bit greener," Soto said. "A little more intense, but not necessarily more bitter. It's just a fun time of the year."

The season usually starts in September and lasts for a few weeks. Breakside expects the beers to go quickly because people wait for them all year.

RELATED: Oregon State researchers find regional differences in hops and resulting beer flavors, aromas

"When we're using fresh hops, we will use them same day, so we'll go in the morning, pick them up and bring them over," Soto said. 

In Southeast Portland, Hopworks Urban Brewery has all of their fresh hop beers already in kegs or can, according to Ryan Pappe the Director of Brewing Operations.

Hopworks Urban Brewery brought in 1,000 pounds of fresh hops to use this season.

"Hops that are piney might throw out some extra citrus or if they are tropical you might get some different flavors or herbal notes," Pappe said.

It's a race to get the fresh hop beers into the hands of customers.

"These are fresh flavors and they can be fleeting, so fresh is the name of the game," Pappe said. 

RELATED: 8 things to do around Portland this weekend | Sept. 16-18

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