Best Gluten Free Beers

Ground Breaker Gayle Fresh Hop IPA

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Ground Breaker Brewing Gayle Fresh Hop IPA

‘Tis The Season For Fresh Hops

I’m excited to review the 2021 Gayle Fresh Hop IPA because historically, this has been one of my favorite annual fresh hop beers to come out of the PNW. It was one of my first true seasonal loves of gluten free beer. It comes from Ground Breaker Brewing in Portland, Oregon.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fresh presentation of the Crystal hops it features. I just love them. There’s no way around it. Every year Ground Breaker Brewing releases a small handful of fresh hop beers, including the Epoch, the Gayle, and (sometimes, multiple) Route 20, one of which is a fresh hop, and the second a hazy).

It features Crystal hops and while it used to be packaged in 22 ounce bombers, it is now released in sleek 16 ounce matte cans, alongside the rest of the Ground Breaker lineup. The Gayle Fresh Hop IPA is brewed in a dedicated gluten free facility, so not a single one of you Celiacs or sensitives out there have to think twice before gulping this baby down.

Below is the beer pour video and accompanying review for the 2021 Gayle Fresh Hop IPA release, but if you keep scrolling past the 2021 review, you’ll find both the 2020 and the 2016 review below it. :)

This IPA is named after Gayle Goschie of Goschie Farms, which is the source for the 200 lbs. of fresh Crystal hops that were poured into this beer. Goschie Farms is located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and has been an important part of Oregon’s farming community for more than 130 years.

The Taste Test

2021 Gayle Fresh Hop IPA

The 2021 Gayle Fresh Hop IPA has a gorgeous copper color. Its head is mild at first but then I roughed up the pour a little…too much honestly. (The head was well done, the pour was subpar. Lol) This IPA pours crystal clear, and its aroma is Crystal-heavy. ;)

Ground Breaker Gayle Fresh Hop IPA 2021

The Gayle has a moderate bitterness level this year. The 2021 release packs a 5.9% ABV and is brewed on sorghum, rice, and buckwheat. It’s got a sharp texture and a flavorful punch. There’s just a ton of earthy-floral notes in this one. 

As you might predict, hops take center stage from the start and the malt profile provides solid-yet quiet support, leading to a substantial body and an absolute ton of flavor in this fresh hop IPA. The bitterness sticks with you a bit more than in years past, but you don’t hear me complaining. 

The 2021 Gayle lives up to its predecessors, and it remains one of my favorite fresh hop releases each year. If you’re an IPA fan like me and have access to Ground Breaker beers (they distribute all the way to the east coast!), I’d love to hear what you think of this year’s Gayle IPA. They also released an Epoch IPA alongside of the Gayle, so let me know if you tried both!

The Taste Test

2020 Gayle Fresh Hop IPA

This year’s Gayle is brewed on a base of sorghum, Eckert rice malt, Grouse buckwheat, and of course…a LOT of fresh Crystal hops. It has a 5.9% ABV.

The 2020 Gayle IPA pours with a vibrant copper orange color, a pretty clear body, and a healthy head. The head lingers and so does the aroma. The aroma is bright, clear, and hoppy, filled with notes of pine forest and gentle citrus. It’s the wafting aroma of this beer that I find the most enticing. 

The taste matches the aroma with a bit more bitterness accompanying the woodsy and floral flavor qualities. When you first sip the Gayle, you’re met immediately with hop and grain character, accompanied by a bit of zip from the carbonation. Then the gentle bitterness washes over the tongue, and the beer finishes with a mild woodsy bite and dry mouthfeel. 

The Gayle is a very drinkable IPA that seems to present the perfect balance between showcased hop character and bitterness. I got to say, I still really like it. And visually speaking, it’s a beautiful IPA.

Ground Breaker’s Gayle IPA has a smooth medium body, mild carbonation, and a slightly spicy-very earthy-fruity floral character that is just hitting the spot tonight. If you’d like to read up on some of the other 2020 fresh hop beers released by Ground Breaker, browse the reviews below:

Ground Breaker Brewing Gayle Fresh Hop IPA 2020

2016 Gayle Fresh Hop IPA

Featuring Crystal Hops

In past years, Ground Breaker has released a Meridian-hopped Pale Ale at about this time.

This year, the Ground Breaker crew took their annual trip to Goschie Farms to collect their local Oregon hops, fresh out of the field. But THIS year, instead of bringing back an abundance of Meridian (like in past years), they brought back a load of Crystal hops! This led them to brew this seasonal Fresh Hop IPA, brewed with no less than 180 pounds of fresh Crystal hops!

ground breaker brewing gayle fresh hops ipa

Introducing the Gayle Fresh Hop IPA, named after Gayle Goschie, a third-generation farmer in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

The Taste Test

2016 Gayle Fresh Hop IPA

Guys. Get YOUR HANDS on this beer! It’s UH-MAZING!

Yes, I think this is my current favorite for the moment. It had me at first whiff.

It’s a crisp, dark, clear amber orange color and pours with very little head. A couple minutes later, there’s a ring of bubbles trapped on the side of the glass, but what little head there was, vanished immediately.

ground breaker brewing gayle fresh hops ipa

The Gayle is a medium-bodied beer that bursts with flavor and is truly pleasant from start to finish. Very smooth experience.

The beer is SO aromatic. I remember tasting this in the sample flight at Ground Breaker, and this one stood out above all others for containing the most powerful aroma. Once I smelled it I couldn’t wait another second to take a sip. And let me tell you…it tastes as good as it smells.

Warning: Must LOVE Hops

This 6% ABV fresh hop IPA really lives up to its style. It is incredibly hoppy..perfect for a hop head such as myself. The hop profile tastes very floral and fruity to me. But it’s not very bitter. It sits at just 45 IBU. The fresh hop process has left so much flavor without imparting much bitterness. I’d imagine this beer would be loved by all, whether one had a taste for IPAs or not.

ground breaker brewing gayle fresh hops ipa

In fact, I would hand this beer to any friend that told me they don’t like IPAs.

If you’re anywhere near Portland, this beer may still be on tap in the brewpub. I would highly recommend treating yourself to a pint. You won’t be sorry.

My Only Regret…

Not purchasing more of this seasonal treat when I was visiting Portland!

ground breaker brewing gayle fresh hops ipa
So clear, you can read my seasoning labels through it.

More seasonal beer reviews coming soon! Stay tuned. In the meantime, be sure to like our Facebook page Best Gluten Free Beers.


P.S. Like what I do for the gluten free beer community? Consider buying me a beer for my efforts! ;)

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