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Left Hand's fresh-hopped Warrior IPA tastes fresh off the plane

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In September, Westword brought you "Is Everyone Hoppy," the farm-to-plane-to-kettle story of hop farming in Colorado and of Left Hand Brewing's Warrior IPA, a beer that is part of the fresh or wet-hopped category. To make these beers, breweries pick their hops and get them into the brewery within 24 hours to preserve as much of the bright, bine-fresh taste of the lupulin oils in the hops before it begins to fade.

See also: - Is everyone hoppy? Who's keeping local hop farmers in business? - Hops farming in Colorado -- A slide show - Colorado will celebrate farm-fresh hops with a new Hops Nouveau festival

Left Hand adds a dramatic twist to this process by enlisting the help of two pilots (and taproom regulars) who use their small planes to fly the hops from Paonia's Rising Sun Farms on the day they are picked -- with help from Left Hand's staff -- to the brewery in Longmont, where they are used within hours.

And now that beer is in bottles and on tap at various beer-focused bars and restaurants in the Denver area -- so you can taste for yourself whether fresh hops make a difference. Hops & Pie on Tennyson Street will feature a special tapping of Warrior tonight during First Friday, where it will be poured from an English-style firkin.

But you can also get it (now or in the next few weeks) Highland Tap & Burger, Breckenridge Colorado Craft, Lucky Pie Pizza, Lowry Beer Garden, Freshcraft, and others.


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