Original 40 to Release Fresh Hop Special

The Original 40 Brewing Company will release Fresh Hop Special Lager on Saturday at its North Park brew pub. The Czech-style beer was made in collaboration with North Park neighbor Seek Beer Company and Del Mar’s Viewpoint Brewing Company. Original 40 Head Brewer Zack Kaplan made the announcement.

Fresh Hop Special Lager has a 5.8% alcohol by volume (ABV), and it was brewed with Centennial hops that were fresh picked and overnighted from Crosby Hop Farms in Woodburn, Ore. to use on brew day. Saaz hops, which come from the town of Žatec in the Czech Republic, were also used.

The beer, which will be available on draft and in four packs of 16-oz. cans, was fermented with a Czech lager yeast strain before the hops were added. Fresh Hop Special Lager has a smooth biscuit and light honey malt character, but it finishes dry.

“I couldn’t be happier to welcome the fall season with this latest creation with Seek and Viewpoint that is reminiscent of German Festbiers, but not a malt bomb by any means,” Kaplan said. “Being a lighter style, the hops stand out more than they would a traditional fresh hop IPA or heavier style. But it’s very much drinkable and super enjoyable.”

Saturday also marks Original 40’s 3rd-Annual Oktoberfest Games in honor of the annual German beer-drinking celebration. Beginning at 3:00 p.m., four different competitions will be held, including Best Lederhosen and Drindl Outfits, Bavarian Pretzel Eating Contest, Stein Holding Competition, and Partner Pretzel Toss. Gift cards will be awarded to the winners.

“We’re celebrating Oktoberfest with Czech-style beers, American-style beers, and everything in between,” said Original 40 founder Steve Billings. “I am confident that all will enjoy Zack’s latest beer, and to that I say, ‘Czech it out’.”

Original 40 was voted as one of San Diego’s Best Micro Brew Pubs in The San Diego Union-Tribune’s 2023 Readers Poll. Only 10 made the list.

Original 40, which was named after the original 40-acre parcel of land that became modern day North Park, is located at 3117 University Avenue. The brewpub is open until 10:00 p.m. Sunday – Wednesday and until 12:00 midnight Thursday – Saturday.

Kaplan is a six-time Great American Beer Festival (GABF) winner, garnering medals most recently in 2019 while serving as the head brewer at Migration Brewing in Portland, Ore. The La Jolla native has won two Gold Medals, one Silver Medal, and three Bronze Medals overall at GABF, which is often referred to as “The Oscars” of the craft beer industry.

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