Fresh Hop Season
Fresh hop season is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you'll get. Long before the beers themselves have been tasted, the events are locked in, t-shirts designed, brochures printed and annual leave applications submitted. The beer itself - that's the mystery!
Fresh hops are unpredictable. The drying process, by definition, removes the most volatile components from the hop flowers. And with good reason - some of those flavours and aromas can be vegetal, even composty. Hops are notoriously unstable, and the fact NZHops manages to get several tonnes of them from the fields to the breweries each year is a minor miracle. This year the miracle almost didn't happen - for the first time, hops were packed warm into cardboard cartons and then sealed in pallet wrap. Some hops were warmer than 40C by the time they arrived, making them unusable, and NZHops recalled the worst shipments and replaced them where possible. At least one brewery has withdrawn its 2017 fresh hop beer after production, as it wasn't up to scratch for reasons entirely unrelated to the recall (Pro tip: dry hopping with green hops - and all the associated bugs and other organic companions - is risky!).
Fresh hop beers will be released this week, with events ranging from multi-venue festivals, to tap takeovers and limited releases. Hopstock is spread across 22 Wellington venues with one beer each. It starts tomorrow and runs until Monday 24 April. Auckland's Fresh Hop 2017 is a more compact - five venues with fresh-hop tap-takeovers at each joint, and regular buses connecting the loop. Volstead in Christchurch and Brew Union in Palmerston North also host fresh-hop tap-takeovers this weekend, and the national Fresh Hop Homebrew Competition will be judged at Fork & Brewer on Friday. Check the events listing below for more info.
And as for the beers, we don't know yet. You'll just have to hunt them down and try them for yourself.
Events this week
Rare and Wild Ticketed Tasting - 7pm tomorrow, Brothers Beer, 90 Wellesley St West, Auckland. Brothers Beer have paired up with Beer Without Borders, one of the country's best importers of incredible international beers to bring you a tasting like no other. Our Rare and Wild tasting will feature amazing rare and sour styles for lovers of some of the funkiest, hardest to find beers anywhere. Including: Baird Ganko Oyaji; Almanac Grand Cru White; Almanac Grand Cru Red; La Sirene Wild Tripelle; Freigeist Kopenickiade Vineyard Peach
Hopstock 2017 - 19-24 April, various venues, Wellington. http://craftbeercapital.com/hopstock/about Hopstock is a celebration of New Zealand's hop harvest, specifically the fresh-hopped beers that can only be crafted in a very small window following the annual hop harvest. These beers from will be poured across our Craft Beer Capital bars, including a few first time Hopstock venues!
Freshtopia 2017 - 19-26 April, Volstead, 55 Riccarton Rd, Christchurch. One whole week of fresh hop deliciousness, Keep an eye on UNTAPPD to see what's pouring.
Freshly Squeezed - 19-24 April, Brew Union, 41 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North. Fresh hops are coming to Palmerston North!!!! Come on down to Brew Union and try your hand at some of the fresh hop beers we'll have on tap.
2017 Fresh Hop Homebrew Competition Grand Final - 3pm, Friday 21 April, Fork & Brewer, 14 Bond St, Wellington. The final round of judging for the Annual NZ Fresh Hop Homebrew competition. Preliminary judging will take place in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch - the top beers that show case the Fresh Hop character will then be judged against each other for the chance to take out Champion 2017 Fresh Hop Homebrewer. Anyone is welcome to come along and watch as our offical judges taste and judge the homebrew enteries.
Fresh Hop NZ 2017 - Saturday 22 April, various venues, Auckland. Fresh Hop 17 is here bigger and better than before! We took your feedback, advice, criticisms onboard and this year we have 5 bars The Lumsden Freehouse The Brewers Co-operative - NZ Craft Beer Bar & Fish & Chips in Auckland CBD Brothers Beer Vultures' Lane Craft Bar Galbraith's Alehouse To get around these fine establishments in style we have not one but TWO buses thanks to those good guys at Beertique NZ and Cryermalt
So Fresh (and So Clean) - 22-23 April, 16 Tun, 20 Jellicoe St, Auckland. It's that time of the year again - Fresh Hop release! A few of our friends have dropped off a few kegs for you to try!
Pie, Pint and Pinot - Sunday 23 April, Library Green, Arrowtown. Beer and pies. A match made in heaven. Enjoy the splendours of locally made gourmet pies, paired with craft beers.
Events next week
Cellar Opening Tasting Night - 5pm Thursday 27 April, Beer Library, 363 Colombo St, Christchurch. We're breaking into the beer cellar for the first time on Thursday 27th April, and inviting you all to join us for a tasting night! We've been hiding away rare and vintage beers in our cellaring fridge, including (to name a few) barrel-aged beers, barleywines, imperial stouts, and sours...it's high time we cracked some open! We'll be opening 5 of our very best - there's limited stock of these bottles so don't miss out. Entry is free; tastings are purchased by the glass so you can try what you like. We can think of no better way to spend a cool April evening.
Head to Head - Six Auckland Breweries - 6.30 Thursday 27 April, Fine Wine Delivery, 42 Lunn Ave, Mt, Wellington, Auckland. 6 Auckland craft breweries & Gourmet Pies! – need I say more? These beer events always sell out fast, so make sure to secure your tickets today! $30 gets you 6 beer samples and 5 gourmet pies, plus insight and entertainment from the brewers themselves! There will be Fresh-Hop beers, brand new releases, Collab beers and an Imperial Barrel-Aged Porter. Be some of the first in the country to try these outstanding new brews…
Epic Rocket IPA Launch & Massive Tap Takeover - Friday 28 April, Vultures Lane, Vulcan Lane, Auckland. Rocket IPA its brand new come try it !Also maybe try some Awakening, Armageddon, Apocalypse, Hop Zombie, Rooster, Lager, Lupulingus, Pale Ale, Son of Thor, St Luke, Stonehammer, Thunder, Danger Zone, Snow White & Roxanne
Wet Hopped Weekend - 28-30 April, Hamilton Beer & Wine, 856 Victoria Street, Hamilton. The Wet Hopped Beers are starting to trickle in, as the events take place in Auckland and Wellington... So we thought it's about time to start our own Hamilton Event!! It was a lot of fun last year, so this year we have lined up even more lupulin filled goodness! With over 20 kegs all lined up for your drinking pleasure!
Glengarry Craft Club: Yeastie Boys Are Back in Town - 7pm 24 May, 118 Wellesley Street form 7pm. At last the irreverent Yeastie Boys will be gracing our own Victoria Park store! Brewer Stu McKinlay has been a busy man over in the U.K. but is taking some time out to give us a run down of their most classic and inventive brews. We'll fight for our right to drink great craft beer!
2017 Okere Falls Strong Beer Festival - 5pm 3 June & 5pm 4 June, Okere Falls Store, 757a State Highway 3, Okere Falls, Rotorua. The Okere Falls Strong Beer Festival is back in true German style over Queen’s Birthday Weekend! Join us for two amazing nights of beer-tasting, bonfires, and live music. These beers were first produced during the ‘Strong Beer Season’ (Starkbierzeit), a tradition begun by 17th century Paulaner monks brewing what they called ‘Holy Father Beer’ (Sankt Vater Bier). Tickets prices, times & further festival details will be available on Eventfinda and our website from 1 May.
GABS Auckland - 16-17 June, ASB Showgrounds, Auckland
Smiths NZIPA Competition - 22-24 June, Smiths Craft Beer House, Queenstown
A Mid-Winter's Ale Festival - Saturday 1 July, Rolleston Community Centre, Christchurch. Showcasing some exciting craft beers and delicious ciders from breweries around Canterbury and the North Island as well as a handpicked selections of beers from overseas. We also have an exciting line up of live entertainment throughout the afternoon plus some awesome food options to match with the amazing line up of beers and ciders. Ticket sales will be available from the 1st of March...
Beervana 2017 - 11-12 August, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Brewers Guild Conference & Trade Show - Friday 6 October, Christchurch
Brewers Guild Gala Dinner (aka BGONZA Night) - Saturday 7 October, Christchurch
Manager, Roosters brewhouse and tasting room, Hastings
Assistant Brewery Manager Role, Hallertau Brewery, Auckland
Hallertau Brewery has been brewing up a storm in tropical North West Auckland since 2005. We really like to brew beer and love the beer we brew. We installed a new 30 HL Brewhouse and 12 head filler 3 years ago, and we also recently built a brand spanking new Beirgarten. We are now on the hunt for someone to help our brewery team to keep the beer cranking out.
What you need:
*Some sort of beer qualifications would be handy.
*At least 3 years Production Brewing experience.
*Some sort of Management experience.
General Manager, Sprig & Fern Brewery, Nelson
A new and exciting opportunity has been created to drive the continued growth of this successful business. As General Manager, your key role will be to develop strategic opportunities for distribution through different channels. You will have a hands-on role in identifying new opportunities, marketing and sales initiatives, as well as leading an enthusiastic, innovative and experienced team of talented individuals. You will need to be commercially astute, highly driven, have an in-depth understanding of sales and marketing and ideally a strong FMCG background. You will also need to be able to lead the team with an inspiring style and have exceptional relationship skills to work closely with the stakeholders, including Sprig and Fern Tavern owners and customers. Closes 26 April.
Duty Manager, Hop Federation, Riwaka