ABV: abv %
Organised by the Craft Beer Capital team, the Hopstock festival is an annual celebration of New Zealands fresh hop harvest. Now in its second year, there will be 19 breweries involved making 16 green hopped beers (including three collaborative teams) which will be hosted across 16 Wellington craft beer bars – one brewery (or collaborative team) for each bar. Fork & Brewer will be a keen participant again and our unique beer is already in the tank.
All the Hopstock beers are made with fresh green or wet hops. Usually, hops are dried and packaged immediately after harvest so they do not go off quickly. For this event, fresh hops are rushed straight into the brew kettle raw, resinous and intensely flavoured. Most of the fresh hops come from the commercial hop fields around Nelson and Motueka but they grow everywhere. Some breweries are using their local hops including some varieties grown on their own land.
Not many hops grow in Bond Street so the Fork & Brewer used hefty doses of US Cascade hops and, crucially, fresh Nelson Sauvin hops. This hop is a particular favourite of Canadian beer writer Stephen Beaumont who believes its unique Sauvignon Blanc-like character will be an important part of New Zealand brewing future. We would tend to agree with his expert opinion. It is a very exciting ingredient, particularly fresh.
On 26 March the Fork & Brewer team (brewer Lester, owner Sean and manager Jono) spent a busy day in the brewhouse laying down the second vintage of our Hopstepper IPA a fresh/green/wet hopped India Pale Ale. Hopstock runs from 23 to 26 April and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Fork & Brewer will be pouring its own Hopstepper on those days. Last years big flavoured brew was hugely popular and, while we have made a bigger batch this time, it will pay to get in early as Hopstepper is a beer which can literally only be made once a year.
Follow Hopstock on Twitter using the hashtag #hopstock