Last Saturday, over a dozen industry judges blind tasted through 122 entries into the Oregon Beer Awards fresh hop competition and awarded gold, silver and bronze in two categories. This year’s fresh hop competition dwarfed even the Great American Beer Festival’s 40 fresh hop beer entries, in 2019. This may be the most competitive fresh hop beer competition in the world and has now become the largest category at the Oregon Beer Awards.
The Oregon Beer Awards is a double-blind judged professional competition held every year in January. Due to seasonality, the fresh hop beers are judged in October at the tail end of harvest. Winners of this year’s fresh hop categories have already been notified but will later be invited to accept their awards on-stage at Revolution Hall during the official OBA ceremony on February 18th, 2020.
Entries are split up into two categories for fresh hop beers – Category 29 is for Fresh Hop IPA’s, Pale Ales and Double IPA’s (including hazy’s) and Category 30 for all other styles of fresh hop beers. Category 29 had ninety entries this year and category 30 had thirty-two. The total of 122 entries was up 40% over 2018, three times more than this year’s GABF.