I learned from a local hop grower that hop roots were brought to America in 1622 on the second Mayflower. It's no wonder those Pilgrims were so friendly with the natives. With westward expansion, Oregon became the leader in the world for hop production. Last weekend was the Fresh Hop Festival, and Oregon's finest brewmasters were featuring their beers with hops, fresh off the vine.
At 8pm the taps turned off for the guests and on for the volunteer servers-the Brew Crew. As a member of this crew, I had the opportunity to rub mugs with local brewers, hop producers, and beer SNOB's(Supporter of Native Oregon Beer). And the best part, sampling most of the thirty something beers on tap. The best fresh hopped beer in the world, hands down.
Hands on Hops
Being partial to dog themed beers, I'll mention just one sample from Lucky Labrador Brewery. The Munich style Biergarten in SE Portland, where Carlos(my lab-mix mutt) and I fell in love. After harvesting a variety of hops from their hop picking party(dang dawgs, next year invite me), the brewers came up with The Mutt- a true mixed-breed beer. My favorite, paws down.