Here they come: the 2015 hop harvest, fresh hop, wet hop beer brigade! There will be a few on display this weekend (March 28) when Bridge Road hosts the first High Country Hops Festival, among them this from Bright. The story behind the beer is as follows...
"At Bright Brewery we are very lucky to be only a few minutes down the road from one of Australia’s major hop farms, run by Hop Products Australia (HPA). Over the last couple of years the HPA Rostrevor Hop Garden in Eurobin has produced world-renowned new varieties of hops, including Galaxy, Topaz, Vic Secret and Ella. Their experimental hop nursery is a hot bed of anticipation and excitement for craft brewers, and we’re there at harvest time every year to see what new delights these High Country hops can add to our Mountain Crafted beers.
"As soon as March arrived, a day before the official harvest began, we jumped into our van and drove into Rostrevor to fill up with fresh hop flowers to use in this year’s Hop Harvest Ale. The occasion also marked our head brewer’s 30th birthday, as Ryan (pictured) and Bright Brewery founder Scott Brandon selected a new experimental hop for this special harvest brew. We hand-picked a couple of bines full of big juicy hop flowers, bursting with potential and ripe for the picking. We then took a big bag full of these unnamed hops straight back to our brewery then threw them into the brew, where they will release a whole new aroma and flavour experience."
The outcome, we're told (and will discover on Saturday) is a golden coppered beer combining "a robust malt body that provides a smooth caramel-like backbone" with "an aroma and flavour explosion of hopalicious delight!" The brewer reckons the hop variety produces "a vibrant and clean, fresh-cut grass mix of pine and pepper, and a surprising Belgian yeast-like note plus a moreish long bitterness". Quite the mouthful! We'll report back on Monday...
- Harvest Ale
High Country Hops Festival
And limited bottles online and over the Bright Brewery BarMore stockists...