Last Fresh Hop Of The Season
Brewed In Seattle By Ghostfish Brewing
This is my final review for the 2017 Fresh Hop season, and the last one to make it to my hands is the Citra Fresh Hop IPA brewed by Ghostfish Brewing in Seattle. I am slightly sad that this season has come to an end, although the sadness is softened by the knowledge that winter stout season is on its way!
The Citra Fresh Hop IPA is brewed with a 100 lbs. of fresh Citra hops from the fields of Yakima, Washington. Each year, Ghostfish chooses a new hop variety to utilize in their fall seasonal, and this year they choose the Citra hop! The Citra is a relatively new variety that has become quite popular in single hop beers, often cited for it’s strong–yet smooth aroma. This beer was brewed on a base of malted millet, buckwheat, and rice grains. Read on to hear what I thought of it…
If you’re interested in reading up on another 2017 Citra-hopped ale, check out the review for the Citra Orange Ale by Moonshrimp Brewing, released this past summer.
The Taste Test
Citra Fresh Hop IPA
This beer pours with a crystal clear light orange color, and a very light head. It’s very aromatic…citrusy and floral. This brew is so clear, you can see straight through it, which allows me to watch the tiny bubbles dance to the top. Again, the head is extremely light, but the little that’s there sits comfortably for a long time. (I know because it sits for a bit while I write.) The longer I take to revisit it, the more bubbles that reach the surface undisturbed, forming a thin film of whiteness at the top of the brew.
It tastes very much like it smells. Crisp, citrusy, and quite sweet. The hops are very flavorful but have a very soft bitterness to them. I find fresh hop IPAs very palatable for those who are typically tuned off by the bitterness of hops. The fresh hop process really allows the flavors and aromas to shine through without imparting the heavy bitterness that IPAs usually possess. (Which I happen to LOVE.)
The body of the Citra is very light and pleasant. Very easy drinking. It’s a smooth ale that leaves way more sweetness than bitterness on the palate. The carbonation feels a bit on the lighter side. I could take a little more fizz.
The major thing that stands out to me in this brew is the fruity floral sweetness in the flavor profile. It’s very light and refreshing, yet at the same time has a 7% ABV so it’s not particularly light alcohol-wise. Since we’re checking out the numbers, I took a glance at the IBU rating, which is actually higher than I would have guessed: 75 IBU.
The season for this beer felt very fast. Probably because it was. Ghostfish produced this brew as a single-batch limited release, meaning there wasn’t a whole lot to distribute around their territory. If you see it in store and it sparks your curiosity…buy it now! Because chances are, it won’t be there when you get back.