beer release

Ninkasi Releases Two Fresh Hopped Harvest Ales

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Props to our friends at Ninkasi Brewing Company for releasing two appropriately-labeled “fresh-hopped” beers to the brewery’s Rare & Delicious (R&D) Series–Total Crystalation and Hop Fraiche. Available mid-September throughout Oregon, with limited quantities available in Washington and California, these beers capture the most loved qualities of hops at their ultimate point of perfection.

 Further props go to Ninkasi for following even the strictest standards of true fresh hopping by using the hops in the kettle within a few hours of picking.
“We use fresh-harvest hops picked the same day they go in the lauter tun,” says Jamie Floyd, co-owner and founding brewer of Ninkasi. “Every year we make Total Crystalation, which takes our Total Domination recipe and finishes it with 500 pounds of fresh Crystal hops, and a second fresh-hopped beer crafted as our tribute to the harvest.”

To ensure the hops remain at their highest quality, Ninkasi’s team of brewers travelled to two local farms to select hops for each brew. Less than 80 miles from the brewery, the team harvested 1,500 pounds of fresh Crystal hops from Sodbuster Farm near Salem to produce three batches of Total Crystalation, and 500 pounds of fresh Sterling hops from Goschie Farm in Silverton for a single batch of Hop Fraiche.

“Over the years we have built great relationships with the farmers who cultivate our hops,” explains Floyd. “Fresh hop beers bring us together; we travel to the farms to select the hops and honor the harvest by spending time to see the hard work that goes into growing one of our most-loved ingredients.”

Total Cyrstalation
Style: Fresh-Hopped IPA
Series: Rare & Delicious Series
ABV: 6.7
IBU: 65
Starting Gravity: 1065
Malt: 2-Row Pale, Munich, Carahell
Hops: Summit, Amarillo, Crystal (fresh picked!)
Available: Draft only 
Distribution: Oregon, and limited availabilities in Washington and California

Description: Total Crystalation is our dedication to the harvest and one of our most-loved ingredients – hops! Following our Total Domination IPA recipe, we add hops as normal for the first two additions. Instead of adding a final addition to the kettle, we run the wort through 500 pounds of fresh-picked Crystal hops in the lauter tun. Using hops literally plucked straight from the vine a few hours beforehand, this beer is super hoppy for super happy harvest times!

Tasting Notes: Total Crystalation has even more citrusy, floral hop aroma, and big hop flavor than Total Domination IPA, which is balanced with a richness imparted by Carahell and Munich malts. This beer is a big flavorful Northwest IPA that maintains its drinkability, and as such has garnered great admiration from the novice craft drinker and the seasoned hop head alike.

Hop Fraiche
Style: Fresh Hop Pale Ale
Series: Rare & Delicious Series
ABV: 5.2
IBU: 40
Starting Gravity: 1054
Malt: 2-Row Pale, Cara-Red, Munich, Red Wheat
Hops: Sterling (fresh picked!)
Available: Draft only
Distribution: Oregon

Description: Capturing hops at their peak of freshness, Hop Fraiche was crafted with 500 pounds of fresh Sterling hops grown at Goschie Farms in Silverton, a mere 70 miles from our brewery. Harvested literally hours before being added to the lauter tun, our brewing team took the hops from farm to fermentation all in a days’ time. These hops possess all the deliciousness of hop harvest season, the intoxicating aroma and lupulin levels sure to make hearts putter. It’s Hop Fraiche!

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: [email protected]


  1. Tracy Thomas

    September 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Any pointers on where to find these in Portland?

    • Samurai Artist

      September 18, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Hop Fraisch is getting tapped for the first time Friday at Ninkasi so I would expect to see it around town next week. I hear the Total Crystalation is not going to be out until the end of the month though.

  2. sdoc

    September 19, 2013 at 4:52 am

    I love Wet hop beer….. Kidding bro. Good post and props to Ninkasi!

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