One of the reasons I love IPAs and other hop forward beers is the smell, that huge burst of succulent hops the smacks you right in the nose as you drink. Most of the aroma in hoppy beers comes from dry hopping, where dried hops are added as the beer ferments and conditions. Dry hopping adds little to no bitterness but does add some flavor and tons of aroma. A complementary technique is wet hopping, where freshly picked hops are used during brewing and/or conditioning. Hops need to be used or dried immediately after the harvest, so wet hopped beers can only be brewed in the fall. The volatile compounds in hops that add flavor and aroma to beer change during the hop drying process, so wet hopping and dry hopping can give very different flavors even when the same variety of hops are used. One wet hopped beer to try this fall is Sensi Harvest from Sixpoint Brewing Company in Brooklyn, NY. Sensi Harvest is an American pale ale brewed with hops that were harvested less than 24 hours before being added to the beer. Sensi Harvest is available in the fall on draft and in 12 oz. cans.
Sixpoint Sensi Harvest pours a clear pumpkin orange with a mild white head. The smell is hoppy but not overpowering, scents of citrus and tropical fruit. The hops come on stronger in the flavor, notes of guava, grapefruit, pine and lemon. This is balanced by a little light malt, hint of cereal and toffee, but this is a vehicle to help the hops sing. The beer is very light in body and sessionable at 4.7% ABV. The finish is clean with a pleasant hoppy bite. I really enjoyed this, it was a nice display of fresh hoppiness in an easy to drink beer. Great way to mix it up a little with all the malty lagers I’ve been drinking this fall. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.