Now, this is exciting. Sheer Terroir is a trio of beers that’s kicking off Hawkers Beer’s Experimental Series and their release follows a long journey. For years, brewery founder Mazen Hajjar has spoken passionately about hops and more specifically, where they're grown. Sure, Mosaic might be a single hop variety but compare it with Mosaic farmed elsewhere and you might find that the hop you think you know and love can taste a little different. In the world of wine, terroir is spoken about endlessly but in beer and hops, it's less common. Both the Mornington Peninsula and Tasmania are great for Pinot Noir but each is known for different characteristics and winemakers within each region like to point to the importance of their exact location and growing practices. In America and elsewhere too, breweries can at times pick hops from a certain field because of the characteristics they hold and for Mazen, he wants to see beer drinkers think a little less about hop names and more about flavour.
Sheer Terroir is a realisation of that dream and was brewed with the support of Yakima Chief Hops and three separate families within that network. Each of them is the same base beer that was dry hopped with Citra but the point of difference is where that Citra was grown. You can read more about Hawker’s thoughts, the farms, the specific fields and the characteristics of those hops here but in a sign that beer drinkers might be just as interested in hop terroir as Mazen, Hawker’s own supply of the trio sold out in around half an hour.
Anyway, onto the beers….
Each pours a golden orange, has a pronounced bitterness and a bit of chewiness but from there, the three paths diverge. Yakima Valley, Washington features Citra hops from Tributary Hop Farms in the town of Granger which we found to go between herbal, grassy, and grapefruit notes.
Willamette Valley, Oregon has Citra from the sixth-generation hop farmers from Coleman Agriculture in Gervais. When it comes to the Coleman’s patch of earth, it seems a little sweeter than the other farms, with this one bringing together ripe orange, melon and berry.
Even if you had no interest in hops, Treasure Valley, Idaho certainly feels like a place you’d want to visit and if you did, you might get to meet Nate Jackson from Jackson Hop Farms. The Jackson’s Citra are quite herbaceous, piney and bring a touch of marmalade.
If you want to learn more about hops and their origin or missed out on these three beers, then be sure to keep your eyes peeled on Hawkers as 2023 unfolds.
Published January 27, 2023 2023-01-27 00:00:00