Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Cascade First Harvest Ale
Head Brewer, Max Burslem
In another long awaited instalment of “I can’t believe it’s not a beer review” today we look at Cascade First Harvest Ale. For those like me who like a good hoppy beer, this is a much anticipated limited release beer.
Made using green (fresh and undried) hops added by hand to the kettle during the boil this beer is packed with aroma and flavour. But don’t think that you know what this one tastes like because the beauty of the First Harvest lies as much in the fact that new hop varieties are employed each year as it does in it’s brewing pedigree.
This year three experimental varieties have been used and don’t let this put you off either. The First Harvest Ale was the beer that introduced the previously unknown Galaxy hop to the Australian drinker – and that hop has certainly found its way into more than a few beers since then. The Bushy Park hop farm again provided the goods for this, the eighth release of the First Harvest.
Named after prominent historical figures (well, prominent if you’re special category is Prominent historical figures involved in hop growing in Tasmania’s early settlement) Clarke, Shoobridge and Francomb. For those playing at home, the correct answers are; Richard Clarke who grew the first hops in Tasmania and was the state’s first brewer, Ebenezer Shoobridge (no, I’m not making this up) Derwent Valley hop grower and the Huon Valley’s hop growing Francomb family.
These hops are added within hours of being picked and are added in stages to the kettle to ensure the bitterness, aroma and flavour characteristics are best showcased. The result is a big, bold hop-packed but malt balanced beer with a freshness of hop flavour that comes across as slightly tart but keeps itself in check through to the last sip. And this really is one for sipping!
Definitely one for the hop heads!