Fall is fresh hop season, where brewers take the product of the harvest directly to the kettle. There is some debate about how much of a difference fresh hops make in terms of taste and aroma versus other options, such as using dried or pelletized hops, but there is no question that the offerings are popular with consumers and make for a fun seasonal beer.

The latest annual fresh hop brew to arrive on the local scene is Dempsey’s, which released it’s 707 pale ale.

“We grow the hops on Red Rooster Ranch, which is located in West Petaluma; we were also lucky to have a friend in Penngrove supplement the harvest,” owner Brenadette Burrell tells me. ” We brewed only 15 barrels with two row pale malt and the hop varieties are Cascade and Chinook, hand picked by the brewers. We still brew the old school way by hand mashing each batch.”

Get it fresh on tap at the brewery, she says.

– Sean Scully