The 3rd Annual Hop Mob begins with the official Hop Mob Kickoff at Brouwer’s Café in Seattle on Thursday, February 2, 2017. Following that, more events around the Puget Sound region and up and down the I-5 corridor. The size and type vary.
Hop Mob is not just about the events. The term refers to the fact that dozens of Washington breweries release triple IPA in early February.
For information about events, visit our Events page.
The series of events showcases Washington-brewed Triple IPAs, perhaps the most boldly hoppy of all beer styles. This style of beer often weighs in at more than 10 percent Alcohol by Volume and features profound hop character, whether in the form of bitterness, aroma, floral notes, citrus notes, or all of the above.
“Triple IPA is a particularly difficult style of beer to brew,” says Kendall Jones of the Washington Beer Blog. “It’s a balancing act between massive hop character and pure strength. Beers that clock in at or above 10 percent ABV are typically malty and sweet, but when you brew a triple IPA you’ve got to find a way to counteract that strength with hop character: damn strong and damn hoppy.”
“Some out-of-state triple IPAs get a lot of attention and cause beer geeks to freak out like pop music fans fighting for Adele tickets,” says Jones. “Every February in Santa Rosa, California thousands of beer geeks line up around the block waiting for a precious sip of Pliny the Younger, a triple IPA from Russian River Brewing. It is a great beer, but perhaps a bit over-hyped. That’s one of the reasons Hop Mob happens in February. A primary goal of Washington Hop Mob is to prove that Washington brewers can brew it too, but with less hype and less hoopla.”
Washington is currently home to more than 330 breweries, which is more than any state but California. That’s no accident. Proximity to the hop fields played a key role in the birth of the craft beer revolution. That’s why Bert Grant opened the nation’s first post-prohibition brewpub in Yakima in 1982; he wanted to be as close as possible to the hop fields. Washington was an early leader in the craft beer revolution that started more than 30 years ago and is still one of the nation’s hotbeds for good beer.
In Washington, hops are more than an ingredient, they’re a way of life. The Yakima Valley produces between 75 and 80 percent of the nation’s hop crop each year, and about 25 percent of the world’s annual hop crop. Beyond the beer, Hop Mob is a celebration of hops and the relationship between hop farmers and brewers. It’s a bond that is particularly strong here in Washington.