Towards the end of March, our Head Brewer, Matthew Cuthbert traveled down to North East Victoria to attend the Victorian Hop Harvest and brew a fresh hop beer with Bright Brewery.
It’s not the first time at Revel that we’ve created a fresh hop beer. In 2019 we traveled to Tasmania, sourcing no less than 100kg worth of the Enigma hops and transporting them back to Brisbane to make the Enigma Fresh Hop IPA.
Image: The Enigma Fresh Hop IPA brewed in 2019 as a collaboration between Revel and Tippler’s Tap.
This proved to be a difficult endeavour to say the least, to ensure the brew was carried out before the hop flowers began to deteriorate and of course dealing with the logistics of transporting fresh hops interstate to a vastly different climate.
This was the motivation to travel closer to the source of the hops and make a fresh hop beer with a brewery nearer to the hop farm!
This time we approached things a little bit differently and decided to brew two beers, one closer to the source at Bright Brewery, in the town of Bright, Victoria and another at our Rivermakers brewery in Morningside, Queensland.
The beer brewed at Bright Brewery is the “Cold & Wet - Cold IPA”, showcasing fresh, off the bine Galaxy hops. Revel’s sister beer is the “Cold & Dry - Cold IPA”, made from traditional T90 pellets of Vic Secret, both harvested from the nearby HPA hop farm.
Image: The Cold & Wet and the Cold & Dry Cold IPA's brewed between Revel Brewing Co & Bright Brewery.
Both beers depict the very popular Cold IPA style, the difference being the usage of fresh, off the bine, vs the more widely used T90 pellets.
The Cold IPA style was chosen due to the style guide calling for a clean IPA base. By doing this, we felt it would showcase the full potential of the hops.
On the Thursday, the first beer was brewed, using fresh Galaxy Hops harvested straight from the farm that morning. It doesn’t get much fresher than that! The second brew was done the next day, using freshly picked Victoria’s Secret hops.
The following Monday, the ‘dry hop’ component was done using kilned hops - the process where the hops are dried to stablise them for pelletising and storage, before being sent to brewers across the world.
Image: Matty Cuthbert and the team at Bright Brewery in Bright, Victoria.
We brewed the same beer at Revel around a week later, using T90 hop pellets of Vic Secret. Our aim for this is to showcase the difference in hop flavour and character between using freshly picked hops and pelletised hops which is the standard usage in most brewing processes.
Fresh hop beers can only be brewed once a year when the hops are being harvested. This is because the hop flowers only last for a short period of time before they start to degrade, much like a freshly picked flower.
Image: Fresh Galaxy hops in the whirlpool at Bright Brewery.
Making the most of the trip, Matty also traveled out to Hop Products Australia, Rostrevor Hop Gardens for a tour and to check out the operation and the harvest was in full swing to say the least!
The scope of the operation was quite amazing to see and as huge as it seems, HPA only accounts for 1% of the world’s hops!
Image: Matty Cuthbert at the HPA facility standing next to a mountain of freshly harvested hops.
Both beers are currently from Revel Brewing Co and Bright Brewery.
Authors: Matthew Cuthbert, Head Brewer, Revel Brewing Co & Matt Fay, Marketing Manager, Revel Brewing Co.