Canberra brewer Richard Watkins says that if you can appreciate the difference between dried and fresh coriander, then you can understand why fresh hops flowers have an advantage over the pelletised version in brewing.
Hops is the brewer’s only spice in most beers and plays a crucial role — through its aroma, flavour and bitterness — in countering the sweetness of malted barley, beer’s seminal component.
Richard has just returned from a trip to Tasmania where he learned that small brewers don’t have to rely on mainland middlemen to source hops.
He says he’s found an independent hops grower on the upper Derwent with the capacity to produce small quantities to order of classic hops varieties including Saaz, Goldings, Hallertau, Fuggles, Amarillo and Chinook – and even selective crosses thereof.
Richard says that hops flowers dried to about eight per cent moisture content can be stored from one hops season to the next in good condition
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007