Just north of Heathcote in area more well known for its grapes, is our start up Skull Gully Hop Garden. In March 2017 we celebrated our first harvest of three hop varieties;
Cascade, developed in the US with moderate bitterness and flowery, citrus aroma. One of the most popular aroma hop varieties and best known for American-Style Pale Ales.
Chinook is a high alpha acid hops bred for bittering but with spicy, piney and citrus characteristics. Particularly used for dry hopping in American-style Pale Ales and IPA's.
Goldings, traditional English variety which can have floral, spicy and earthy aromas, classic English ale hop and used in lagers.
In 2018 these will be second year plants, still not at full production but more productive.
Joining these varieties will be a new selection of hops; Fuggles, Challenger, Columbus and Saaz. We're looking to trial a number of varieties, North American and European to see what grows best and what is popular.
A brief history of hops...
Hops have traditionally been grown in Victoria and Tasmania, preferring to grow between 30° and 52° degrees latitude. The hop cones are the flowers of the female hop plant who's bines (not vines) are grown on a tall (5.5-6m in our case) trellis.
Many hop growers have played a part in the industry over the past two centuries but currently there are only a few commercial hop growers operating in Australia. With the rise of the craft beer industry there's demand for hops, particularly for small regional craft breweries.
Most commonly supplied in pelletised form, growing in popularity is to brew with fresh hops in specialty "Harvest" beers. Added late in the boil, whirlpool or through dry-hop additions, the hops add a unique desired flavour and aroma character to beers.
Find out more about the Muscovich journey at Skull Gully Hops.
Read our blog!