All Hail Fresh Hop Ales 

'Tis the season—harvest season that is, and that means fields of fresh hops. Idaho is home to some the best in the northwest, so this is a chance for local breweries to strut their stuff. Two entries hail from the home state, locked in a virtual tie for the brew with the longest name. The third, with a more minimalist moniker, is from Oregon and takes advantage of hops grown in nearby Willamette.

Double Mountain Killer Red Fresh Hop IRA, $4.49-$5.99

This bright copper ale from Hood River is topped with a porous, fairly thin head that hangs around. It's more complex than you'd expect from a fresh hop brew, with aromas of baked apple, pineapple, caramel, spice and a hint of fruity hops. Those hops resonate in the mouth, backed by ripe fruit, caramel and malt.

Mother Earth Brew Co. Fresh as it Gets Fresh Hop India Pale Ale, $2.79-$3.19

The hops for this Nampa brewery are grown just a 30-minute drive away. It's a dark straw pour with a light head that leaves a frothy lacing. The aromas center around lively, citrus-laced hops with just a touch of grain. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, you get lightly balanced malt, ripe lime and a long, dry finish with this beer.

Sawtooth Brewery No Friends on A Fresh Hop Day Hazy Citra IPA, $1.99-$2.29

This Hailey entry pours a cloudy straw color with a thick, powdery head, leaving a sticky lacing. Earthy hops lead off on the nose, along with fresh-cut grass and a touch of blood orange. This one is all about the Idaho Citra hops, with a nice bitterness from start to finish, colored by tropical fruit and lime zest.

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