Lead Photo Credit: Sugarbush 

Fall is synonymous with festivals. With a long history of harvest festivals, Oktoberfest and more the two seem to go quite well together. This weekend, Sugarbush is taking this to a new level and introducing a new kind of festival to the mix. Part harvest fest, part craft beer festival, Sugarbush is hosting Vermont’s very first Fresh Hops Festival.

As part of Sugarbush’s annual Community Weekend, the resort will be hosting it’s first Fresh Hops Festival. A first of its kind festival in Vermont and one of the first on the East coast, Fresh Hops Festival will bring together 10 of Vermont’s best brewers to feature the unique flavors of fresh hopped beer.

What is fresh hopped beer?

Sugarbush Fresh Hops Festival

Photo Credit: Sugarbush

Only made during the early autumn harvesting season, fresh hopped beer is brewed with fresh hops rather than dry hops. Most beer that you characteristically drink is made with hops that are dried just hours after harvesting. This gives them a far longer shelf life and the hoppy, citrusy, piney taste we know and love.

Fresh hops, on the other hand, have a very short shelf life (24-36 hours) and must be used quickly for brewing. Ultimately, this freshness produces craft beers with a unique, almost green flavor profile. Beer’s such as these are a stark difference from the hoppy bitter IPAs that you’re used to.

Participating Vermont Brewers

Ten Vermont brewers will be participating in the inaugural festival including: Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Collaborative Brewing, Weird Window Brewing, Lucy and Howe Brewing Company, Kraemer and Kin, 14th Star Brewing Company, Black Flannel Brewing Company, Whirligig Brewing, Fiddlehead Brewing and Eden Specialty Ciders.

The hops will be provided by two Vermont farms including Wicked Bines Farm and Champlain Valley Hops.

Getting Your Money’s Worth

Sugarbush Fresh Hops Festival

Photo Credit: Sugarbush

Tickets are currently available for purchase, with the event capped at 300 participants. Guests will receive a pour card for fifteen 5 oz. pours.

That’s a whole lot of beer to fill up your commemorative Fresh Hops Festival glass.

Non-drinkers and designated drivers are welcome to join and will not require a ticket. Live music by the Vermont Bluegrass Pioneers  will have you dancing the afternoon away as you drink beer and sample the various food options that are available.

Rich Stoner

Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après and the co-host of the Beyond the Après podcast. No stranger to the ski and après-ski scene, Rich has been a long time contributor for many publications on topics like skiing, gear, beer and food. However, his passion is on the slopes and enjoying good times with good people. You can find him perfecting his craft carving turns and drinking beers in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  @allaboutapres