colorado brewery fresh hop beer

20 Amazing Fresh Hop Beers to Try

Unique to the end of summer weather, this is the time of year when hops are harvested and delivered to breweries across the country, including numerous throughout Colorado. The fresh hop beers differ from traditional brewing throughout the rest of the year due to the hops being fresh (or wet) and often arrive at the brewery within 24 hours and still attached to the vine (also called the hop bine). 

Tradition amongst many breweries is an impromptu hop picking party the day the fresh hops arrive. This often unplanned event is one to partake in if the opportunity presents itself. Imagine a spontaneous call to action amongst the lucky taproom patrons at the brewery the day the hops arrive. One minute you’re sipping a beer on the patio, next you’re elbow deep in hop bines and your hands are covered in the glorious aromatic nectar of the hop-gods. A completely sticky coat of yellow powder called lupulin covers your hands. This is the stuff hop-dreams are made of.

Immediately picking the fresh hops allows the brewer to use the harvested hops within 24 hours of harvest, thus creating a fresh hop beer. After the individual hop cones are picked, the brew team gets to work starting the fresh hop brewing process! With fresh hop beers, the wet hops allow brewers to take advantage of the volatile aroma and flavor compounds in the hop cones that would otherwise disappear over time with dried hops. This effect creates fresh, grassy flavors that are unique to fresh hops as well as a robust aroma profile of floral, herbal, and tropical fruit.

Because we don’t want you to have to do the work, we’ve collected fresh hop beer details from member breweries across Colorado. We highly encourage you to check out some fresh hop beers and experience their delicate aromas. These beers are best consumed fresh, so get out and try something new at your local brewery.

SEPT. 15-17

Are you making the annual pilgrimage to the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Sept. 15-17th? Be sure to swing by the Guild’s booth and try some Fresh Hop & Oktoberfest releases from our member breweries across CO!

Fresh Slope Hazy IPA | Base Camp Beer Works

Fresh Hop IPA | 6 and 40 Brewery

Oktoberfest | WestFax Brewing 

Oktoberfest | Odyssey Beerwerks

Heather’s Ale Fresh Hop IPA | Strange Craft Beer 

Oktoberfest | Crystal Springs Brewing 

Union Maid Oktoberfest | OCC Brewing

Méthode Traditionnelle Spontaneous Fresh Hop Beer | Primitive Beer

SEPT. 23

Want to thoroughly dive into this seasons’ fresh hops? You definitely will want to mark your calendar for Billy Goat Hop Farm’s Southwest Fresh Fest & Picking Party on Sept. 23rd! Party on their hop farm outside of Montrose, CO with local brewers serving up their seasonal fresh hop beers. Live music, shuttles from Montrose, and more!

SEPT. 30

The Joyride Fresh Hop Fest  is back and better than ever! They’ll be tapping some of Colorado’s best wet hopped beers alongside one of their own to celebrate the beauty and tradition of fresh hops. No cost for admission, no tokens or tickets, just come on in and order a pint (or sampler) any time during the day. Keep in mind, however, some beers will be more popular and won’t make it more than a few hours. The street in front of the brewery will be shut down and there’ll be live music, food trucks, and more. They’re also donating 10% of all fresh-hop sales that day to the Colorado Brewers Guild so we can continue our mission to promote, protect, and propel independent Colorado breweries. Participating breweries: Joyride, Broken Compass, Burns Family Artisan Ales, Cohesion, Green Mountain, New Terrain, Call to Arms, Comrade, FlyteCo, Jagged Mountain, Ratio, Station 26, Vail Brewing, and Weldwerks.


Aug. 25th – Strange Craft Beer | Denver
Strange is releasing their Night of The Comet Fresh Hop Pale Ale 5.5% at 12pm, this pale features Comet hops from Farming Artists in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Just like its namesake, this pale ale is bright, mesmerizing, and will dazzle the senses…just without the whole world-destroying, zombie-creating consequences. This beer features 100% freshly-picked Comet hops provided by our long-time friends Jeff and Barbara from their property in Santa Fe, NM. Expect flavors of passionfruit, citrus zest, and a bit of dank herb.

Aug. 30th – Base Camp Beer Works | Western Slope (Grand Junction)
Base Camp is releasing their Fresh Slope Hazy IPA with Copper hops from Billy Goat Hop Farm in Montrose.

Sept. 5th – Lady Justice Brewing | Aurora (Denver)
Lady Justice is releasing “To The Moon!” Fresh Hop Pale-ish Ale, 6% ABV, at 3pm on Sept. 5th. This is a true farm-to-glass beer made entirely with ingredients grown on family-owned farms and features Comet hops from Billy Goat Farms in Montrose, CO.

Sept. 7th – 6 and 40 Brewing | Lakewood (Denver)
6 and 40 Brewing is releasing their Fresh Hop IPA featuring Chinook and Multihead from Billy Goat Hop Farm in Montrose, CO. The IPA uses 10 pounds per barrel of wet hops (spoiler alert: that’s a lot!) and is available in their taproom in Lakewood starting Sept. 7th. We asked the brewer what they thought about hops and they said, “Hops are like shooting a ray gun at a dragon while riding a unicorn. This is the only thing that might excite me more than wet hop season.”

Sept. 8th – Ska Brewing | Durango
Ska is releasing “Freshy”, a fresh hop Pale Ale featuring Magnum, Chinook and Cascade from Billy Goat Hop Farm. Available in their Durango taproom. 5.4%

Sept. 8th – FlyteCo Brewing | Denver

In August, aviation-themed FlyteCo Brewing and their pilots-turned-brewery owners took flight in a small passenger plane from Denver to Billy Goat Hop Farm in Montrose, Colo. After retrieving the fresh hops, they turned around and headed back to Denver to add to the brew kettle – a whirlwind five hours. It results in the freshest wet hop beer a beer lover could ask for. FlyteCo will release their beer – Hop is my Co-Pilot – on September 8.

Sept. 8th – WeldWerks Brewing  |  Greeley

Cryo Fresh Hop Juicy Bits: Fans of WeldWerks’ ever-popular Juicy Bits will want to try the fresh hop version of the beer. Using Yakima Chief Hop’s Cryo-301, these fresh hops are flash frozen after harvest, locking in the flavors and aromas, and then put through cryogenic hop processing that separates the whole cone from the precious lupulin. This 6.7% ABV beer will be available at WeldWerks’ taproom on Friday, Sept. 8th and within the brewery’s distribution footprint in Colorado shortly after.

Sept. 8th – Hideaway Park Brewery | Winter Park
TOADally Fresh Pale Ale made with Cascade hops from Billy Goat Hop Farm releases Sept. 8th in the taproom. 6.2%

Sept. 11th – Elevation Brewing | Poncha Springs
Elevation’s 6.5% Wet Hop IPA spotlights Copper Hops. They named this beer “Hop Kid” in homage to Billy Goat Hop farm in Montrose, as kid is the term for a baby goat. “It has been especially cool to work with Chris and Audrey over the years and watch their growth and success as some of the coolest kids in the hop biz.”

Sept. 14th – Mountain Toad Brewing | Golden
Mountain Toad is releasing their Two Headed Toad American Pale Ale featuring Multihead hops from Billy Goat Hop Farm in Montrose, CO. Head to Golden on Sept. 14th to check out this release!

Sept. 15th at 3pm – Mountain Tap Brewery | Steamboat Springs
Heading to Steamboat Springs for some amazing fall scenery? You’ll want to check out Mountain Tap’s Fresh Hop IPA releasing at 3pm on Sept. 15th. From the brewer: “Once upon a time in the middle of the night on Aug. 15th, our farmer friends at Billy Goat Hop Farm chopped 18-foot-tall hop bines, bundled thousands of hop cones in hand-made burlap sacks and packed them in a trailer. Early in the morning of Aug. 16th, Mountain Tap met Billy Goat at a halfway point between Montrose and Steamboat for the Fresh Hop Exchange. 80 pounds of Magnum, Chinook and Comet fresh hops were added to the brew kettle within 12 hours of being harvested!”

Sept. 16th – Call to Arms Brewing | Denver
More Like Bore-O-Phyll Fresh Hop IPA:  Call to Arms Brewing’s More Like Bore-O-Phyll is a Fresh-Hopped West Coast IPA featuring Amarillo hops from Crosby Hops flown in from Oregon. The gold medal winner of the 2018 World Beer Cup in the Fresh or Wet Hop category, More Like Bore-O-Phyll features a bright burst of tropical citrus and grapefruit notes through the use of Cascade fresh hops, coupled with a dry-hop of Cashmere, Citra, Galaxy and Amarillo hops and finishes dry to the taste.

Sept. 16th – Primitive Beer | Longmont
If you’re in the Longmont area you will definitely want to check out this Méthode Traditionnelle Spontaneous Fresh Hop Beer! Featuring Multihead hops from Billy Goat Hop Farm in Montrose. “Multihead is an indigenous variety of hops to New Mexico and Colorado. We’re cold steeping these hops in 2-year mature spontaneous beer (also all Colorado grown ingredients)”, says owner Lisa Boldt. “We love the way our blends highlight a beautiful juxtaposition of musty, funky mature beer (with gracefully oxidized flavors) and the fruity, vibrant counterbalance of fresh hops!”

Sept. 19th – Strange Craft Beer | Denver
Just in time for GABF week, Strange is back at it with another Fresh Hop release at 3pm on Sept. 19th! Heather’s Ale is a 6.9% fresh hopped IPA with 75 pounds of fresh Cascade hops. This fresh-hopped version of their staple IPA called IPAphany celebrates their friend, Heather Clarke, who passed Sept 2014 from breast cancer.

Sept. 20th – Comrade Brewing | Aurora (Denver)
Are you a Superpower Fan? Well, mark your calendar for Comrade’s Superdamp 6.5% Fresh Hop IPA! This is their fresh hop version of Superpower with wet Strata hops and has claimed Silver Medals in the 2014 & 2015 Great American Beer Festival®!

Sept. 22nd – Joyride Brewing | Edgewater (Denver)
This is their first time using wet hops from the Pacific Northwest and are utilizing fresh Strata cones from Crosby Hop Farms in Oregon, as well as Strata pellets and Strata CGX. Stop by and try their fresh hop IPA starting on Sept. 22nd and don’t forget about their Fresh Hop Fest on Sept. 30th when they will be tapping fresh hop beers from breweries across Colorado! Learn more in the Sept. 30th event listing above.

Sept. 22nd – Goat Patch Brewing | Colorado Springs
Releases at 5pm! Our house IPA aged on freshly harvested hops from our friends at One Eleven Neighborhood Farm. 6.6%, 60 IBUs

Sept. 28th – Peak View Brewing | Greenwood Village (South Denver)
Peak View is releasing their “Skelethon” 6.5% West Coast IPA on Sept. 28th. This IPA features Chinook, Centennial (hop source USA) and Centennial, Cascade, and Idaho 7 from Crosby Hop Farm in Oregon.

End of Sept. – Call to Arms Brewing | Denver
Janet Reno’s Dance Party Hazy Fresh Hop IPA: Sure it’s a bit of a dated reference, but in a time when patriotism isn’t what it used to be, former US Attorney General Janet Reno still springs eternal.

What began as a flagship Session IPA for Call to Arms Brewing has received gotten a glow-up. After much experimentation and receiving feedback from staff, the CtA team made the decision to evolve their iconic Janet Reno’s Dance Party into a Hazy IPA, and now goes a step further by getting the fresh hop treatment for the first time. Bursting forth with tropical fruit-forward flavors through the use of Strata fresh hops and a mellow easygoing profile with much like its namesake public servant with notes of pineapple and fresh peach. Releases at the end of September.

Oct. 6th – Cohesion Brewing | Denver
Fresh Hop 10° is a Světlé Výčepní Pivo (Pale Draft Beer), 3.8%, featuring Cascade hops from Billy Goat Hop Farm.

Oct. 6th – Empourium Brewing | Denver
Releasing at 12pm, “Now & Forever” is a Wet Hop Hazy IPA with Eldorado hops from Hop Head Farms. 6%

Oct. 13th – Outer Range Brewing | Frisco
Strata Gems Double IPA made with Strata hops and clocks in at 8% ABV releases in the taproom on Oct. 13th.

Cabin Creek & Soulcraft Brewing Fresh Hop Collab! | Mountains (Salida)
Soulcraft and Cabin Creek breweries teamed up on this Fresh Hop American Lager that uses 50 pounds of Comet from Billy Goat Hop Farm in Montrose. Tapping at both breweries in September.

Base Camp & Ramblebine Brewing Collab! | Western Slope (Grand Junction)
Fresh Hop Cold IPA, a fresh take on a classic style. Utilizing Billy Goat Hops Farm Cascade & Chinook Hops, fermented on a lager yeast, and cold dry hopped. Keep an eye out for Fresh Side Story, a fresh hopped Cold IPA hitting both taprooms in September.

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