Our new hoppy Blonde Ale made with 100% our own home grown hops is busy conditioning in it’s bottles and will be on sale at the brewery (while stocks last) from 24th June 2020.
Brewed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Tamar Valley AONB
Creating a new beer is always such fun, like a great big cookery-come-chemistry experiment, with all the different malt, hop and yeast flavours to choose from to marry together to try to create something perfectly balanced with layer upon layer of lovely flavours. We think we are so lucky to be able to grow hops and brew in one of the most beautiful places in all of England, so to have been asked to produce a new beer to celebrate the Tamar Valley AONB’s 25th anniversary was a real honour.
This new blonde ale, named by Ben Dancer at the Tamar Valley AONB, is brewed with 3 different hops, Zenith, Styrian Golding and Cascade, all grown, harvested and dried here at the brewery. Something very rare, almost unique in this country.
Brewing with 100% of our own Tamar Valley hops allows the bittering, flavour and aroma characteristics distinct to our specific environment and microclimate to shine through. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but we really notice how brewing with 100% our own hops instead of our current usual 70% just takes our beers to a new depth, richness and clarity of flavour. No background harsh notes, just a freshness and cleanliness, a well rounded depth of multi-layered subtleties, and a fruitiness that’s deep without being overpoweringly dominant. We are still bulking up on a couple of our more finicky varieties, but hope to soon be using 100% hops for all of our brews.
There’s a background soft dampness to the Tamar Valley, which is maintained by the diversity of its topography and ecosystems, particularly its woodlands and extensive hedgerows. This, combined with the gentle warmth of the valley’s microclimate provides a kinder, softer and more biodiverse environment for hop growing than many traditional hop growing areas, and this seems to be reflected in the quality and breadth of flavours and aromas that our own hops can therefore give. Sure, we can have problems from being sometimes too damp, and not always cold enough in winter, but growing in the Tamar Valley means the hops can have an environment more akin to the hedgerows where they naturally flourish in the wild as opposed to the vast open field systems necessitated by modern commercially viable mechanical based growing.
And our incredibly precious hedgerows play another important role. We still grow our hops in exactly the same way as we did when we were a certified Organic market garden, so we’re not using the pesticides that are routinely and regularly sprayed by most commercial hop growers. Instead our thick and biodiverse hedgerows provide the refuges necessary to maintain our large predator population – countless ladybirds, hoverflies, lacewings and all manner of small birds to hoover up the Hop Aphids that can render a crop useless in a few days. And again, this means no chemical residues on the hops to enter the beer and taint its flavour.
So, Ale of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a light and hoppy blonde ale with fresh citrus notes; a bright, sparkling and refreshing beer to celebrate the warmth of the long light summer days and evenings of the Tamar Valley, it’s outstanding natural beauty and it’s rich biological diverstity.
Available from the brewery, and Roots and Vines, Tavistock from 24th June, while stocks last.