The Schloss Shanahan team has the Red Hill Brewery Café on its must-visit list. It’s located amongst the vineyards on Mornington Peninsula. And apart from brewing what appears to be a range of distinctive beers, it grows its own hops.
I’ve not heard of any other Australian brewer doing this, though I know of one that’s being planned in Tasmania.
The flower of humulus lupus is, of course, the only seasoning element in the vast majority of beers brewed on this planet. And it comes in many varieties, added at various stages of the brewing process to provide aroma, flavour and bitterness.
Dried hops flowers – as opposed to compressed pellets – are prized by many brewers. But, apparently, it’s very difficult to secure regular supplies and unless you happen to brew in the right latitudes you can’t grow your own.
Mornington sits on the edge of this band and, according Red Hill’s website, they currently grow five varieties: Hallertau, Tettnanger, Golding, Willamette and Pride of Ringwood, harvested by friends in mid-March each year.
The brewery offers Golden Ale, Wheat Beer, Scotch Ale and occasional seasonal specialties – currently the 8 per-cent alcohol ‘Temptation’, model on the Belgian strong-ale style.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007