Breweries in Washington have an incredible advantage when they craft a recipe: access to
fresh super-fresh-just-harvested hops. The state is home to the famous Yakima Valley, the largest hop producing region in the United States. With so many hops growing in their backyard, Fremont Brewing capitalizes off of their unique position to create an organic fresh hop pale ale called Cowiche Canyon right around harvest season. Cowiche Canyon actually is an area within the Yakima Valley where, not surprisingly, Fremont gets their fresh cones from to create this beer. Will this beer produce better results from pellets? Time to run them numbers…
Appearance: Cloudy orange with a tiny white head that left beautiful lacing as I drank. The color on here is exactly what I like to see out of my IPAs, so
hops hopes are high that this beer delivers on taste and aroma.
Smell: I could smell this as soon as I opened the can. This beer is ripping with a vibrant hop presence featuring lemon, citrus, grapefruit, and passion fruit. This brew is on point with its aroma, time to dig in!
Taste: Holy Cowiche! This beer is a flavor bomb. Those bright hops I got from the nose encompass the palate with everything from lemon, grapefruit, and lime to flavors that are oily, bitter, and dank. This brew is a wonderful balance between those super fruity, juicy IPAs and the more traditional piney and bitter ones. New school hops meet old school east coast IPAs – accompanying the hops (which are the main attraction in the brew) is the most complementary grain profile I can remember from a Pale Ale. It’s light enough not to overpower the cones, but rich enough to impart a lovely malt sweetness to help those hops along by not making them overly bitter. I can’t stress how perfectly balanced Fremont crafted this beer. The finish is dry and lingering hitting the sides of your tongue and the aftertaste is that of a fresh lemon spritz. I am so digging this beer.
The carbonation on Cowiche Canyon was perfect and the mouthfeel was light, although it imparted flavors that you’d find in a medium bodied IPA. The ABV is a standard 6% which keeps it simple; I appreciate Fremont taking a more traditional approach with the ABV in here and it works well with the beer.
Overall: This is the best pale ale I’ve ever had. I need to give it an A+ and a ticket into the hall of fame. I cannot believe this beer doesn’t have more street cred among the beer nerds out there… I’m fine with that… more for the people who appreciate underrated beers. They say fresh ingredients matter… you can’t refute that after having this brew.