17 April 2014

They’re tasting our hops - there

Kieran Haslett-Moore

30/11/2011 10:39:00 a.m.


NEW ZEALAND hops are gaining a reputation around the world for the exotic and unique flavours and aromas. New Zealand hops have long been valued around the world because of the low levels of insecticide and fungicides used in their production and the high levels of alpha acids that they contain. Alpha acid is the element in hops which gives them bitterness.  The more alpha acid a hop contains the less a brewer needs to use to achieve the desired level of bitterness.
For mainstream brewers who primarily want to inject a moderate level of balancing bitterness rather than flavour and aroma from their hops, high alpha hops are highly prized.  Craft brewers on the other hand tend to value the original and exotic flavours and aromas that different hop varieties can offer.
It is this second use of hops in brewing which is really driving the demand for New Zealand hops at the moment. Craft brewers in Australia, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe and North America are all waking up to what New Zealand hops can offer.  
Now and then beers brewed with New Zealand  hops make their way back to New Zealand. A couple of months ago I wrote of the Buxton beers from the North of England which are now available in NZ, (brewer James Kemp uses a lot of NZ hops in his beers). Occasionally we get the seasonal hoppy Southern Hop Harvest Ale from California’s Sierra Nevada Brewery which uses air freighted New Zealand hops fresh from the harvest.  
Currently on the shelves around town we have Humming Ale from San Francisco’s Anchor Brewery. Humming Ale is an American Pale Ale which combines a big Nelson Sauvin hop character with a very American pale biscuity malt profile. I’m always intrigued to taste how brewers from other countries use our hops and this is a particularly good example.
Aromas of citrus, passionfruit and melon give way to a zesty palate and a lingering grassy bitter finish.  Humming Ale is a seasonal beer which is brewed to commemorate the opening of Anchors current brewery which they moved into in 1979. I suggest grabbing one and comparing it with any of the locally produced beers that highlight New Zealand hops. Cheers
Email This Print


Don't worry, we wont make this public

No comments.

Best of Wellington 2012


  • Making housing affordable 27/03/2013 10:06:00 a.m. With home ownership rates falling and many struggling to play higher rental costs, making housing affordable has risen to the top of the political agenda.
    Joel Pringle, campaign manager for Australians for Affordable Housing, and Charles Waldegrave, from the Family Centre, will address a meeting as part of a public discussion on housing at Thistle Hall on April 8.
    Waldegrave will look at the human faces of housing unaffordability while Pringle will suggest ways to build public support for affordable housing policies in New Zealand.
  • Food to the rescue 27/03/2013 10:06:00 a.m.
    Food rescue organisation, Kaibosh, has been named supreme winner at the TrustPower National Community Awards.
    The Wellington based service group collaborates with food retailers and producers to rescue surplus food that is good enough to eat, but not good enough to sell, preventing it from being discarded into landfills.
    Since its inception in 2008 Kaibosh has rescued over 285,000 meals – that’s 100 tonnes of food redistributed to where it’s needed most.