Monday, 30 November 2009

Hops anyone?

Have you ever spent nearly an entire afternoon bagging hops into small pellet sized pouches? Well that what I was doing last Saturday. Me my parents and future wife took on the task of packing up around ten bags per each of the ten chosen hop varieties we needed, all of which are to be used as wedding favors for my imminently impending wedding day.

The plan is simple. During the sit down meal the ten tables (including the top table) are named after different hop varieties and the individuals on the table get one bag of hops each of the specified variety. The varieties were kind-of chosen to suit the personalities sitting at each table, but were arguably also chosen because they are amongst my favorite varieties. The varieties are as follows:

- Cascade
- Goldings
- Fuggles
- Styrian Goldings
- Centennial
- Chinook
- Challenger
- Northdown
- Saaz
- First Gold

So mostly British and American varieties, but the absence of German varieties is mainly because Helen didn’t think the names sounded classy enough.

So whilst indulging in the brilliant aromas that filled the kitchen and educating my Dad on each variety at a time as we went through them I decided that this would be a fitting moment to have a beer that truly showcases brilliant hop aromas and flavor. So from the cupboard came the famous Goose Island India Pale Ale from Chicago, which did the trick brilliantly. With a great aroma and not so much bitterness I can understand how this has often been termed an English style IPA. Its not overpowering at all and everyone loved it, especially my old man who thought it actually made the experience of bagging hops ‘more’ interesting. The only slightly worrying part of the day was finding that the Northdown had gone a little brown, but the Cascade for the top table were super fresh.

The countdown continues…


Ed said...

I do love Goose Island IPA, doesn't taste English at all to me though.

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

While in San Francisco, be sure you hit The Toronado on Haight. When your done there, walk up the street about 15 minutes to a brewpub called Magnolias. It's on Haight & Masonic. From Magnolias, just around the corner, is an English Pub called The Pig & Whistle. I believe they still do Drake's Best Bitter on cask at all times. It's worth poppin' in there. All three are within walking distance. If you've got the time, you should really hire a car and drive up to Russian River Brewing Company. It's in Santa Rosa, about 55 miles from San Francisco. Get a room for the night and enjoy Happy Hour from 4-6:30pm. They have pints of Pliny The Elder, Blind Pig IPA, loads of other beers for $2.75! Be sure to Chronicle your trip!

Rob said...

Indeed I will Worst thanks for the advice. will only be there for around 2 days of the honeymoon so probably wont get to Russian river.

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