Why Fresh Hops Are Essentially the Magic Sauce of Craft Beer

fresh hops vine
Markus Spiske

Which new bourbon are we pumped about? What does it take to be a master journeyman? Where are we excited to travel to next? Each week, The Manual Podcast invites an expert, artisan, or craftsman for a roundtable discussion on what’s new, exciting, and unique in their trade.

For this week’s episode of The Manual Podcast, Nicole and Greg chat with Parker Hall, staff writer for The Manual’s brother site, Digital Trends.

You may recognize Parker’s name from a previous episode of The Manual Podcast. Sure, Parker’s day job is writing about all the coolest new tech, but one of his passions is beer. Parker is a renowned homebrewer and expert on all things hoppy.

The Manual is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, which is conveniently located in one of the richest regions for growing hops. This flowering plant, which produces deliciously the bitter little nuggets that are one of the main ingredients of beer, offers one coveted harvest in the fall. While the bulk of these hops will be dried and distributed to breweries around the world to use all year long, the harvest has big brewers and local operations alike scrambling to score the freshest batch to use in their next beers. The result? Well, it’s what Parker calls the “magic sauce” — fresh hop beers are seasonal delights that come in many different styles, from the somewhat obvious IPAs and ales to more interesting lagers.

To learn all about fresh hops and how these flavor bombs are incorporated into beer, you’re going to have to hear it from Parker directly. The bottom line, though, is that you need to try a fresh hop beer ASAP.

If you ever have a question or comment for The Manual Podcast folks, give us a shout at podcast@themanual.com — we’re always around! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can join the discussion.

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