As well as being top pinot noir and chardonnay country, Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula (separating Westernport Bay from Port Phillip Bay) appears to be in a sweet spot for growing hops as well.
Back in 2005 Karen and David Golding opened the Red Hill Brewery on the peninsula after a long battle with local planning authorities. By this time they’d been growing hops for several years, thus creating the agricultural land use required for the approvals.
Karen says that they’re self-reliant in hops and currently have Tettnanger, Hallertau, Willamette and Goldings varieties in production – though what toll the recent heat wave took is unclear.
She reports some leaf burn problems and expects this to reduce the crop – though the extent of damage won’t be known until flowering, now underway, is complete.
David Golding brews three main beers – Golden Ale (in Cologne’s Kölsch style), Wheat Beer (Bavarian style) and a sweet, malty Scotch Ale – and a range of seasonal specialties.
I’ll be reviewing the beers in coming weeks. But if you’re headed south, they’re available in Melbourne, at the Red Hill Brewery and Restaurant and at restaurants around the Mornington district.
Copyright © Chris Shanahan 209