Thundercone Fresh Hop Ale
"So musical a discord, such sweet thunder." -
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Wm Shakespeare
Autumn is arriving and, with it, McMenamins Fall Seasonal, "Thundercone Fresh Hop Ale", back for a fourth year. To celebrate the hop harvest in the Pacific Northwest, McMenamins brewers have decided to create a seasonal beer utilizing fresh, or undried, hops straight from the hop fields. Throwing caution to the wind and using seven different vehicles, over 1000 pounds of fresh Cascade hops were frantically delivered from Sodbuster Farms just north of Salem, OR to 22 McMenamins Breweries all over Washington and Oregon, henceforth known as "The Running of the Brewers". Each batch of "Thundercone Fresh Hop Ale" was brewed within hours of the hops being picked off of the vine. This was a daunting task but one that the McMenamins Brewers feel was well worth the monumental coordination involved. The resulting beer is an absolute fresh hop showcase.
Pilsner Malt was used as the base malt for this beer to impart a smooth foundation and Belgian Caramel Malt was thrown in for a little color and a slight maltiness. Dried Chinook hops were used as First Wort Hops and as a flavoring addition. But the real stars of the show are the fresh Cascade hops used for both flavoring and aroma. Five pounds of fresh Cascade hops per barrel were added in three different additions in every batch. These fresh Cascades overwhelm "Thundercone Fresh Hop Ale" with an earthy, raw hop decadence that can only come from fresh hops. It is a greener and more unadulterated flavor and aroma than comes from dried hops. The citrusy, flowery and grapefruit notes usually associated with Cascade hops are still present but with an amazing fresh hop funkiness added into the mix. This beer is so refreshing and hop-filled that you may think you are dreaming but, like Shakespeare's play, "Thundercone Fresh Hop Ale" is in reality a short lived dream come true.
Malts Used: Canada Malting Superior Pilsen Malt, Franco Belges Caramel Munich 40
Hops Used: Chinook (Bittering), Fresh Cascade (Flavor & Aroma)
Original Gravity: 1.061
Terminal Gravity: 1.013
Alcohol by Volume: 6.19%
Available at all McMenamins establishments starting September 12, 2014. Pours until this year's supply is gone. Note: Although growler/jar fills are fine, there are no keg or corny can sales available on Thundercone.