TREBOOM BREWERY, a microbrewery near York is brewing their own real ale version of a BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU. Called ‘FIRST DRAFT’ it is made from fresh green hops as opposed to kiln dried whole hops normally used by the brewery.
Head Brewer John Lewis travelled to Pridewood Farm in Herefordshire to personally collect the hops needed for this special brew. John said, ‘this is a true seasonal beer, the window of opportunity is very small as the hops need to used within 24 hours of harvesting to capture the fresh flavours’.
Because of the speed needed between plucking the hops and pitching into the copper, First Draft will be a very limited edition of 30 casks. The first firkin will be tapped at York CAMRA beer festival on 19th September and will then be available in pubs around York.
John said, ‘We are particularly excited about making this beer, it’s a celebration of the UK hop harvest and very timely that production coincides with the York Beer Festival.
Green hop beers have a distinct freshness of aroma and taste. When drying hops, no matter how gently it is done, some of the volatile oils which smell so fabulous are driven off. But when using green hops more of the oils can get into the beer, the result is a freshness of aroma and taste which is particular to these beers.
Each hop harvest produces crops which vary in their composition as a result of weather and growing conditions. When using dry hops the hop merchant supplies the brewer with a chemical analysis of the hops so that they can alter their recipe to produce consistency of flavour. However, when using green hops there is no time for this scientific approach and while educated guesses can be made, the brew produced will be particular to that year.
The trend for green hop beers is growing, part of the attraction to brewers is that each year the beer produced will be unique. For John this is the joy of owing a microbrewery. ‘Because we brew on a small scale we have the luxury of being able to take a few calculated risks and make the most of fresh ingredients, I can’t wait to taste it!’
Look out for First Draft in, Habit, Swan, Phoenix, Maltings, Waggon and Horses, Meltons Too, Brigantes and Habit. Also at the Dawnay, Newton on Ouse and the Crown Inn, Roecliffe. Check out Facebook and Twitter for updates on where else you can find First Draft.
Treboom Brewery is a family run microbrewery based in Shipton-by-Beningbrough, five miles north of York and produces four core beers – Drum Beat, Kettle Drum, Yorkshire Sparkle and Baron Saturday