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

The Naked Hop: Bach Brewing Cans

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.

Bach Brewing Cans

Bach Brewing, owned and operated by Craig Cooper and his wife, was born out of a love of craft beer. This smallish-scale craft brewery has been rapidly expanding recently, and in the last 12 months has just blown onto the market, coming out with some great seasonal and one-offs, including a barrel-aged Seamaster Imperial Ale that is outstanding.  But most recently, their core range has been in 6-pack cans.

Cans are everywhere right now, and personally I prefer them. And that’s not just me; scientifically speaking, a can is airtight, which protects the contents from oxygen, and it keeps out all the light that can have a detrimental effect, especially if the beer is unpasteurised. Cans are also lighter; a 12-pack of cans weighs less than a 12-pack of bottles, and it’s more environmentally friendly, just saying. You also will never get caught out with not having a bottle opener…handy.

The Bach Brewing 6-packs are currently available in an All Day XPA and Shaka Lager, which sit at 4.6% and 4.5% ABV respectively – great session-friendly 6-packs. They’ve also just released in cans the Billfish APA and Kingtide Pacific IPA (hugely popular in the 500ml format). I would approach the Kingtide with a degree of caution; sitting at a cool 7% ABV, but being such a beautifully balanced and integrated beer, it is somewhat easy to forget about the strength. We have the full range now; come and check them out and decide for yourself the answer to that intriguing question: cans or bottles?

Hannah Beaumont

The Naked Hop: Garage Project

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.

Garage Project

The ‘unofficial’, albeit ‘official’ cool kids of the New Zealand craft brewing world. Nestled in Te Aro, Wellington, Garage Project started life in 2011 in an old petrol station, where Pete’s, Jos’s and Ian’s brain-child saw them set up a nano-brewery, not realising at the time just how fast it would take off, and how popular the beers would become both locally and internationally.

Fast forward a few years, and production is well under way. A range of beer with rather impressive labels (they say don’t judge a can by its cover, but clever marketing does work), with new production lines and spaces taking over Wellington CBD and tasting rooms and bars popping up across the country, who wouldn’t want to get on the Garage Project band wagon. Many an avid beer drinker will have their favourite Garage Project beer, but will never admit to which one it is. The range of beers is second to none. From your everyday lager, aptly named Beer, to your more adventurous ones, such as the Barrel Aged Riesling Juice or the Strong Blonde Ale known as Twilight of the Gods, there is something for everyone. The beers themselves are a conversation starter, whether you’re chilling out in our fridges talking to staff, lounging in the lingering sun with a few mates while the sausages sizzle away on the quintessential Kiwi barbeque, or perhaps putting your feet up at the end of long day at the office, the beers speak for themselves. Garage Project are willing to take risks in the constantly expanding and competitive craft beer world, and it clearly shows they know what they’re doing, both inside and outside the bottle.

Glengarry has been a stockist of Garage Project for a while now, and the shelves in our fridges look like more like an art gallery with a line of masterpieces. We are always excited to see a new release come in (and then fly out), but also sometimes slightly annoyed that we weren’t quick enough to get our own hands on them. Our team are always happy to lend a hand when you’re choosing your tipple, with their wealth of knowledge around everything beer-related (and wines and spirits). So pop into any of the Glengarry stores or browse online from the comfort of your couch while sipping on your current Garage Project in search of a new one.

Release after release, award after award, there’s no slowing down for these guys. Which is good for everyone, right?

Scott Wilson