Just when we thought that most of the freshly hopped ales were all but gone from our stores, Port Brewing released High Tide Fresh Hop IPA. With supplies on many of the freshly hopped ales dwindling, it is nice to see one released that is not only delicious, but brand new to Illinois.
We cracked a bottle of High Tide alongside two other wet hopped ales, and were pleasantly surprised to find High Tide was our favorite of the three. I wont call out the names of the other two, but one was from California and one was from Indiana. High Tide was filled with classic citrus and grapefruit flavors, and contained what we agreed to be the perfect amount of hoppiness. One of the other two we tried had an uncharacteristic burnt hop flavor that it hasnt had in the past, which was a minor disappointment. The third freshly hopped ale we tried was tasty, but it was so overloaded with pine flavors that you could barely taste anything else.
High Tides hop flavors were balanced with grapefruit, orange, pineapple, and a hint of grass. As far as overall balance goes, High Tide had a decent malt backbone; enough to make its presence known, but not enough to interrupt the full flavor of the hops. A bitter and mildly sweet aftertaste is apparent on the finish.
It is interesting to see how fresh hop ales differ from year to year. Two of our favorites from last year seemed to be lacking a little something, while beers like High Tide and Founders Harvest Ale impressed us. Dont miss this opportunity to indulge in one of the finest and one of the last freshly hopped beers of the season, Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA. And please take the opportunity to let us know what you think was the best fresh/wet hopped beer of the year.