The UK craft beer scene doesn’t seem to be slowing up.
Hop addictions are in full flow and we are all looking for that next beer that’s going to give us the wow factor.
And best of all, this is happening down the local bar, pub and restaurants are pairing craft beers with food.
SO WHERE HAVE ALL THESE HOPS COME FROM AND WHAT DO THEY OFFER?
Hops are the flowers of the plant Humulus Lupulus and the flavouring agent in beer, of course! They impart Bitter, Zesty flavours and also add to the aromatic notes. Black Tor brewery talk about their Hop supplier Charles Faram. I’ve been luckily enough to go on a hop walk with them around harvest time. I can recall, Hops dig as deep as they grow in height. Some I saw were at least 12 feet high, so they work pretty hard to deliver the final product. They are also a distant relative to the Cannabis plant.
We hear an abundance of different hop names that come up in conversation with brewers, so I’ve picked a couple that you might of heard. In the Black Tor interview they mention New Zealand Hops and one they use is called, Wakatu.
Wakatu is a dual purpose hop with a great mix of floral and citrus characteristics. (6-9% Alpha Acids – the source of hop bitterness). Wakatu is growing in popularity and counts for 40% of the hops grown in New Zealand. New Zealand’s hop contribution is roughly 1% of the worlds growth.
Many beer writers liken the hop to wine characteristics
Another variety would be Nelson Sauvin, these hops are very much at home in American Pale ales and New World IPA’s. Nelson refers to the region in central New Zealand, while Sauvin is a reference to the Sauvignon Grape. Many beer writers liken the hop to wine characteristics, fruity, tropical profiles and even talk of crushed grapes. Some even mentioned gooseberries with the levels of acidity present.