HARVEST FRESH HOP IPA - SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE HARVEST®
Fresh hops straight from the New Zealand fields.
Available May 2014.
The harvest season for hops is a painfully short window—that precious time when the hops are bursting with intense aromatics. Luckily for us, harvest comes twice a year: once in each hemisphere. Southern Hemisphere features fresh New Zealand hops that are picked, dried, and shipped to our brewery within seven days. The result is a complex beer that showcases the floral and herbal flavors and aromas of Southern Cross, Pacifica, and Motueka hops. Southern Hemisphere is part of our five-bottle Harvest series which features single hop, fresh hop, wet hop, and wild hop beers.
Wet Hop versus Fresh Hop
Over recent years, there has been some confusion about the difference between fresh and wet hops. While it may seem like semantics, to us it’s an important distinction.
Wet Hops are un-dried hops, picked and shipped from the growing fields within 24 hours.
Fresh Hops are the freshest dried hops to come from the fields, typically within seven days of harvest.
Over 90% of the world’s hop harvest happens between August 31 and October 31, and these hops are used throughout the calendar year. Can hops possibly be the same on November 1, one day after harvest, as they are on July 25, nearly one year after growing in the fields? The answer is no. We think of hops like dry kitchen spices—the flavor of thyme or rosemary right after the jar is opened is far more intense than it is six months later. The same can be said for hops. There are ways to control the way hops age and to reformulate and readjust as some of the aromas fade, but there’s nothing like the magic of the first bales of hops as fresh as can be. That is the stuff dreams are made of!
Hop farmers, breeders, brewers and brokers are always looking for new and interesting hop varietals with compelling flavor characteristics and intriguing properties. Sierra Nevada has a unique relationship with hop growers and often has access to limited and experimental varieties. Some of the varietals, while interesting, don’t add enough value and never make it into commercial production, while others—like the recent hop Citra—take the brewing world by storm. Every day new varietals are being tested and some have become signature flavors for Sierra Nevada.
We work hard to get strong hop flavors into our beers and one of the ways we do that is through dry hopping. Dry hopping refers to the addition of whole-cone hops to the fermentation tanks. The addition of hops to cold beer allows the aromatic oils and resins to infuse the beer with flavor and aroma without adding any additional bitterness.
Brewing is as much art as science, and all beer specifications and raw materials are subject to change
at our brewers' creative discretion.
ALCOHOL CONTENT 6.7% by volume
BEGINNING GRAVITY 16.6° plato
ENDING GRAVITY 4.3° plato
BITTERNESS UNITS 67
YEAST Ale yeast
BITTERING HOPS Fresh New Zealand Southern Cross
FINISHING HOPS Fresh New Zealand Pacifica, Motueka, Southern Cross
MALTS Two-row Pale, Caramel
CUISINE Grilled Light Fish, Lemon Vinaigrette, Ceviche, Roasted Herbed Chicken