This once a year phenomenon offers brewers the chance to make exceptional tasting beers.
Throughout the brewing year, breweries use dried and process packed hops, but come September…. that all changes when Hop picking season arrives, and the opportunity for brewers across the country to eagerly make their way to the “secret” gardens, to collect amazing fresh hops straight from the hop gardens.
A green hop beer uses undried, fresh hops that are picked and used in the brew typically, within the hour, if like us, you are very close to a hop farm!
Many of the essential hop oils are lost during the drying process, but green hops never see a kiln and so all these amazing flavours are retained and make it to your pint.
This year is our first green hops harvest, but our brewer David, with his experience and knowledge is well versed in the art and used some 40 odd kilos of Bramling Cross to make our Green Hop Pale Ale. We would typically use between 4 and 6 kilos of dried hops when brewing!
So what do we have for you coming up? Because the varieties we want to use are ready at different times, we are brewing both beers twice, using a different hop with each version.
The early hop….. Bramling Cross
Is a variety bred in the early part of the 20th Century. It is half Golding (the Bramling) and half wild Manitoban, yes that’s right, it’s half Canadian too!
It is one of the, if not the prettiest hops to grow. But it is also one of the most difficult, due to its Canadian heritage.
It likes a really cold winter to grow well. Luckily this year’s crops looks amazing, with wonderful aromas. We have obtained this variety from our good friends who have a hop farm within minutes of the brewery.
The late hop….. Bullion
This used to be grown in vast quantities and was a firm favourite with Guinness in its day. But times changed, and Bullion was all but forgotten for decades.
Luckily our good friends at Hukins Hops near Tenterden, decided to revive Bullion and we are very grateful they did.
It is a similar tasting hop to the Bramling Cross, due to it’s Canadian parentage, but carries a greater punch and was first grown commercially in the 1930’s.
Both our Green Hop beers will be ready towards the end of September and will be available in cask and limited release bottle.