Are brewers Max Burslem and Chuck Hahn trying to out-hop each other? I reckon they are. In March Chuck released James Squire Hop Thief Ale, a bitter, delicious statement about hops from the USA.
And this month sees the release of Max’s Cascade First Harvest 2007 Ale, another celebration of hops, in this instance freshly harvested from the Derwent Valley.
Max’s new brew uses three hops varieties – the experimental Explorer and Leggett as well as Galaxy, used in earlier versions of First Harvest. The combination gives assertive herbal and resiny aromas and flavours to the beer and a robust bitterness to counter the ale’s sweet malt character.
After a few sips the herbal, resiny hops bitterness outweighs the malt and becomes, increasingly, the main focus of the beer. But that’s what its name suggests.
Cascade claims that ‘First Harvest is the only brew of its kind in Australia brewed using fresh green hops’.
Cascade First Harvest Ale 2007
This is a serious celebration of humulus lupus – several varieties of it, in fact, fresh harvested from Tasmania’s Derwent Valley. It’s a fruity, light-amber ale with the full malty body to carry the assertive aroma, flavour and exquisite, lingering herbal bitterness of the three hops varieties. The best of this series yet, I believe.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007