Yum, we love green hops!
It’s that time of year again…them darn little flower-like cones are ripening up nicely up and down England & around the northern hemisphere. And that can only mean one thing…experimentation with Green Hop Beer.
We had 3 attempts last season with great success, but this year we’re going all out. We now have 3 vines in the brewery garden, only metres from the brewhouse copper. So we’re going for a short distance and freshness record:
hops to boiler within moments of being picked.
We may be mad keen on this, somewhat, random craft beer style but by no means are we experts.
It’s a game of chance.
Forget dry vacuum packing and lab-measured alpha / beta acid contents. If you’re a tiny craft brewery like us it’s a chance to embrace guesswork and have a play with your recipes.
You can, generally, expect some acidity in the end product, sometimes well balanced and sometimes outright tart – a trait that works well with the recent interest in sour beers, although not easily categorised in classic beer styles like Farmhouse, Saison or Lambic.
In terms of growing hops themselves, there is a bit of a trend for late harvest nowadays, with craft growers leaving the hops on the vine a little later until the cones are really oozing and those those Lupulin Glands are well and truly stuffed full of hop oils. When talking in beer geek mode, our head brewer likes to pretend his favourite essential oil is Myrcene – as if he can tell its characteristics apart from the other main hops oils such as Humulene and Caryophllene. Although this kind of tasting ability usually leads to heated discussions among craft beer gurus after the third or fourth pint. Without a posh piece of measurement kit it’s pretty tough to distinguish such details.
So, we’ll be brewing a series of fun uber-fresh batches from late August through early-mid September this year. Not just from our homegrown hops but from wild hops growing in a secret location we’ve been harvesting for a couple of years.
Green Hop Beer is best drunk very fresh / young with an open mind and an innocent palate.
Give us a shout to come sample some from late September through to November this autumn.
Just one word of warning though…try eating/tasting fresh hops (or packaged for that matter) directly in your mouth and you’re in for a nasty experience!
Green Hops! Green Hops! Green Hops!