As we wave goodbye to the beautiful Hawkes Bay Summer and welcome chilly Autumn nights, we also welcome the release of a new seasonal beer to the Zeelandt Brewery line-up. That’s the beautiful thing about seasonal beers, every few months brings something different, a change and an opportunity for our consumers to try something new. This April we welcome Pulling Cones back to the brewery for the 3rd time.
Chatting to Christopher Barber and Ben Obsorne we learn a little more about hops and the seasonal beer, Pulling Cones.
What is a fresh hop beer?
CB – Fresh hop or green hop beer is made once a year using hop cones that have been harvested the same day or the following day. As this only happens once a year we like to make a bit of a song and dance about it. Outside of this we use dried and pelletised hops.
What are the differences from using fresh over dried hops?
CB – Hops provide essential oils to beer that add bitterness, flavour and aroma. The way I view fresh hops are that they add brightness and freshness to the beer. Using them as soon as they are harvested we get to make the most of all the oils that would otherwise get lost during processing such as kilning and pelletising.
Tell us about Pulling Cones.
CB – Pulling Cones is a pale ale and this will be the 3rd year that we have released it. To carry on from what I’ve said; fresh hops add a bright, fresh element to the beer. I don’t want this component to be lost so Pulling Cones is fresh, light, crisp and dry. Let the hops do the talking, it’s their show. It’s its own style, it is not trying to be an XPA, APA or IPA. We keep the barley to 100% pale malt so it adds a platform for the hops to stand on.
Ben, this is your first year of brewing the seasonal beer Pulling Cones, what is your take on it?
BO – Many of us brewers only get the opportunity once a year to brew with the freshest of hops, so why not show case them. It has ample amounts of hop flavour and aroma so it’s definitely a thumbs from me! Brewing it was great fun, drinking it even more so.
Have you had any influence on the seasonal beer for 2018?
BO – Yup, I’ve put my 2 cents in. One of the fun parts about designing a beer is brain storming and discussing ideas. My influence would be the brewing liquor. Adding certain minerals to your brewing water can really bring out flavours and aromas (much like adding salt to your food). At the brewery we have pure rain water so its certainly a good base to start. With the addition of a few brewing salts we were able to accentuate the nice hop aromas leaving a clean flavour profile.