De Plukker has only been brewing for a few years yet they’ve been growing hops for generations. In 2011, the first beer was brewed in a building next to the Cambie family’s hop fields. For the first time in family history, Cambie hops would be used to make Cambie beers!
Once year later the first edition of Single Green Hop came out. Joris took a trend that was popular in hop crazy US and made a Belgian wet hop ale. If you’re not familiar with “wet hopping,” it’s the process of brewing with hops that haven’t been dried. They usually go straight from the field and into the brew kettle within hours. This creates a highly aromatic and fresh hop character. The downside, like the hops themselves if they’re not dried, is that the resulting beers are pretty delicate and won’t last very long.
Each year Joris has changed the hop variety. The 2014 features Organic Challenger hops grown on the Cambie farm. Besides being a hop farmer and a brewer, Joris Cambie also runs the only 100% Organic hop farm in Belgium. I opened this bottle last month, but according to Joris it’s on the end of its freshness range. He was in Portland and we met up for some beery adventures in my city. He’d been gracious enough to show me around his brewery when I was in Belgium last fall. I figured it was only fair. However, the beer was still tasting fantastic. I’d picked up a bottle at the brewery when I visited. Additionally, my friend Kevin of Belgian Beer Geek sent me one. Both were enjoyed with gusto.
Appearance: Hazy copper, super fluffy beige head, great retention.
Aroma: Spicy, floral notes, earthy notes, bubble gum.
Taste: Caramel, toffee, spicy, hay/straw.
Overall Impression: Fresh, bright, earthy, and spicy; this beer was still tasting fantastic even if it may have been a bit past prime. I’ll be sure to get the 2015 version in my mouth much closer to the brew date. The carbonation level was fantastic. It was intense, persistent, and delicate all at the same time. It also created an amazing mouthfeel. Top to bottom, this is a top notch beer.
Availability: This years batch is probably gone. When it’s fresh, it’s only available in Belgium. Joris is currently expanding the brewery. If he ever gets to the point where he can’t sell all of his beers in Belgium, he’ll hopefully ship some to us Americans. There were 1,816 bottles produced in this batch.