The Naked Hop: Hop Harvest 2018

A new monthly publication coming to you from the Glengarry team of beer experts, where we explore everything beer related. Here you’ll find an in depth look into the beer world and what makes it tick. View the full issue online here.

Hop Harvest 2018

For those of you who don’t know what Hop Harvest is, it’s exactly what it sounds like: in the same way that grapes for wine have a harvest time every year, hops or hop flowers/buds have a yearly harvest too. When hop harvest comes around it’s a very exciting time of year, because it results in the best and the freshest beers. It’s basically like Christmas for beer geeks. Harvest is usually over late February-March, with the beers released at the end of March/start of April.

Breweries from all around New Zealand lie in wait for harvest and the resulting fresh hops to make their fresh hop beers. The fresh hop cones are literally flown around the country and delivered to brewers who then chuck them straight into tank. Usually hops are added to a brew in the form of a hop pallet or dried hop flower. This can take away a lot of the fresh piney/fruity notes and oils associated with different hops, in the same way that fresh herbs from your garden are always better than using dried ones from a box.

Fresh hop beers are the crème de la crème, best drunk within six months of release, but even better the day of. If you’re a wine person, perhaps this will resonate with you if you think Beaujolais Nouveau, where the grapes are picked and pressed immediately, and the wine flown around the world to be the first from harvest; Fresh Hop is the same concept.

Hannah Beaumont