Hopstock and 16 smokin' beers

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 05:00 18/04/2014
hopstock
AMY JACKMAN/FAIRFAX NZ

HOP LOADED: Adrian Klemp from Fork & Brewer, left, and Peter Moran from Tuatara Brewery are looking forward to next week's Hopstock festival.

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The Wellingtonian

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The hops have been harvested and the beer is brewing for the second annual Hopstock craft beer trail.

The event, run by Craft Beer Capital, was a celebration of Nelson's fresh hop harvest, co- organiser Peter Moran said.

"All the beers are brewed with green or wet hops. They are hops that are fresh off the vines from this year's Nelson hop harvest," Moran, from Tuatara Brewery, said.

"Brewers all around the country already brew fresh hop beers, so we get them on board for the event.

"It also gives an incentive for other breweries to get involved."

This year's Hopstock, from April 23 till 26, features 16 beers, brewed by 19 brewers, served in Wellington's 16 craft beer bars - one beer per bar.

Trail followers download stamp- cards from the Hopstock website and collect a stamp for each beer they taste. Completed cards can be sent into the prize draw for bar vouchers, merchandise and beer festival tickets.

A stamp will be given for any volume of the beer that is ordered, so those on the trail don't have to drink 16 pints.

Serious hopheads can even jump on a tasting tour bus and visit nine venues, with nibbles included at the halfway point.

The first festival last year was a massive success, which meant a repeat was a given, Moran said.

"This year's event is double the size, in terms of venues and beers. It should hopefully encourage people to come to Wellington and try these beers, in one city, in a couple of days."

Fork & Brewer general manager Adrian Klemp said the beers featured in the event would thrill lovers of big hop flavours.

"Throughout the year we brew with dried hop pellets," he said.

"This is the one time we get the opportunity to use fresh hops filled with flavour. We have got only 48 hours to use them once they are picked, because they then turn into compost.

"The beers that come out of using fresh hops are really resiny and herbaceous. That mellows out over a couple of weeks."

The bar has brewed 2000-litres of Hopstepper Pale Ale, which is less malty than last year's version. The full Hopstock lineup, and information on the trail and bus tours can be found at craftbeercapital.com/hopstock. Hopstock runs over four days - April 23 till 26.

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- The Wellingtonian

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