A little over a year ago, Produce Row suddenly and unceremoniously closed. News and blog posts went up about it but there really wasn’t any reason why, at least to the casual observer. One day it was open, the next day it was closed and the staff of PR was as surprised as anyone.
Just as quietly, Produce Row opened back up again just a few months ago. I’ve always liked the place so I’ve come down, drinking a Breakside Fresh Hop ale. Because fresh hop ales are the best, rarest beers on earth! (Spoiler; no, they aren’t).
Nothing has changed. And I don’t mean that nothing feels different. I mean that nothing has perceptibly changed.
It’s eerie to feel this way; not the decor, not the arrangements, even the font on the menu looks familiar. I don’t even need a new wifi password. For a moment, I have a shadow of the Shining come over me. Should I worry about possession?
Eh, who cares? A cool place I like has come back! Let’s finish this beer.
It is hoppier than I would’ve expected. Not in the nose; that barely registers and that’s a bit disappointing. The finish is bitter and it’s pretty citrus forward. It’s good but Breakside has done so many excellent beers lately that I feel like this could be better. I may just be holding the bar too high. Then again: they set the standard, can I really be faulted for holding them to it?
That’s the fresh hop ale I made, mentioned last week (it’s the one on the right.) Pretty sweet, huh? At least it looks really, really good. It’s got a very sweet-citrus-floral nose and is super clear, so things look pretty optimistic. We’ll see how it tastes in a bit; hopefully before I move but after if that’s how things break down.
These are the last two beers I’ve made in our current dwelling:
On the left is an oktoberfest. Or it would’ve been an oktoberfest if I hadn’t been given three pounds of fresh Crystal hops by Deschutes brewpub. (Thanks, people at Deschutes who didn’t need those hops!) So instead it’s just a brew with a large malt profile a la an oktoberfest, with a ton of Crystal hops put in because…because I could do that.
On the right, is a fresh hop pale ale, which I used some of the Crystal hops in. The right is in secondary right now, and as you can see I’ve added more hops to secondary. Three pounds of hops is a lot and I tried to use as much as I reasonably could before moving.
Which is why these are the final two beers I’m making for a little while: I don’t want to try and transport these containers in a vehicle: if I can get them bottled beforehand that will mean that it’s much, much easier.
They’re not making it simple though. I’d blame the yeast if I thought it was to blame but who doesn’t love active yeast?
Nobody. So special thanks to Hopworks alehouse for giving me awesome yeast to make these beers with!