Beer changes with the seasons. There’s light and fruity golden ales to quench your thirst in summer, dark amber brews with toffee and spice for autumnal evenings and hearty barley wines and full-bodied stouts to warm you in winter.
But this change isn’t down to design as much as you might think. Brewers might add certain ingredients to your beer but the taste is mostly down to Mother Nature herself.
You see it’s all about the hops – like any other plant they’re affected by the seasons. Different temperatures and conditions mean different harvests and tastes. And once the hops are grown and picked, the flavours change according to how they’re stored.
Hops can only be enjoyed fresh once a year – in just a four week period in September. Outside that time brewers rely on dried hops. And the drying of hops gives them a completely different flavour – like the intense, deep and pungent taste of winter ales. But once a year, for just a few weeks, we get the chance to taste beer made from fresh, green and wet whole flower hops.
So as the fields turn golden we head straight to Herefordshire to pick fresh green hops for Green Hop, our autumn AleBlazer. The hops need to be used within 24 hours so once they’re picked we drive them to Truro overnight for a next day date with the mash tun. And at the end we produce a fine, pale, end-of-the-summer ale, designed to let the quality and freshness of its raw ingredients shine through.
It’s a beer like no other – famed for its fresh grassy and sweet citrus notes. But because each harvest is different, we don’t know what type of hops we’ll get or what they’ll taste like until we try it. It means the arrival of Green Hop is always an eagerly awaited event at the brewery – one which we’re excited to share with you too.
But if you’d like to try our long-awaited seasonal beer you’ll need to be quick. It’s only available in cask for just four weeks this September. And if you fancy a pint, we’ve put together a few of the places serving Green Hop below…
Alexandra Inn, Penzance
The Anvil, Cubert
Cadgwith Cove Inn, Cadgwith
CAMRA – Falmouth Beer Festival, Truro
The Castle Inn, St Ives
Grapes Inn, Falmouth
Gurnards Head Hotel, Zennor
The New Inn, Helston
Newquay Golf Club, Newquay
Oddfellows Arms, Falmouth
Old Ale House, Truro
Pilchard Press, St Ives
Portscatho Social Club (Harbour Club), Gerrans
The Preston Gate Inn, Bude
Probus Comrades Club, Probus
Queens Arms, Botallack
The Rising Sun, Truro
The Royal Oak, Perranwell Station
The Front, Falmouth
Seaview Inn, Falmouth
Seven Stars, Falmouth
Seven Stars, Flushing, Falmouth
The Affleck Arms, Newmarket
The Tors Inn, Belstone, Okehampton
The Tinners Arms, Zennor
Trengilly Wartha Inn, Nancenoy, Constantine
Trewellard Arms Hotel, Pendeen
Turks Head, Penzance
Victory Inn, Towan Cross
Water Mill, Lelant