Hops on the hill

In 2005 Karen and David Golding established hops at Red Hill on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. This satisfied local regulations requiring would-be liquor licence holders to be primary producers.

They harvest the four varieties – Hallertau, Tettnanger, Golding and Willamette – around March each year for use in their Red Hill Brewery products.

These include three beers produced year round (Golden Ale, Wheat Beer and Scotch Ale) and seasonal specialties like the upcoming releases, Bohemian Pilsner and Christmas Ale, reviewed below, and Temptation, a seriously good strong Belgian blonde style.

Wheat Beer shows the classic fruity esters of this delicate style with a subtle, lovely tang of estate-grown Tettnanger hops.

Golden Ale delivers complex, refreshing, full flavours, cut through with the delicate flavour and soft bitterness of Hallertau and Tettnanger hops.

And big, bold, chocolaty Scotch Ale benefits from a lick of goldings and Willamette hops.

Red Hill Brewery Bohemian Pilsner 330ml $5.50
Red Hill takes a distinctive approach to this classic, full-bodied, hoppy, Czech style. It’s a little stronger than normal at 5.9 per cent, it’s unfiltered (and therefore has a yeast haze) and utterly delicious. From nose to finish, pungent hops wrestle with opulent, sweet, malt flavours, finishing strong, bitter and alcoholic.

Red Hill Brewery Christmas Ale 330ml $7
This ale salutes Chimay Red, one of the great Belgian abbey beers. It combines full, malty body with high alcohol (7.5 per cent) and a strong aroma input from hallertau and tettnanger hops flowers. It’s a sip and savour style, its opulence and silky texture a good much for Christmas cake or pudding.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2011
First published 23 November 2011 in The Canberra Times

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