What do NZ Hops add to Gluten Free Beer? Lowdown on New IPA: NECTARIPA!
We may not be best of friends on the sports field – and our neighbours from across the Tasman take the biscuit in the great Pavlova debate – but those folk in New Zealand sure know how to grow hops that pack flavour. The question is, what do hops from the wilds of South Island add to gluten free beer?
Find out with our new release NECTARIPA! It's a 6.2% ABV New Zealand IPA bursting with stone fruit aromas and tropical fruit characters, thanks to Nelson Sauvin™, Wai-iti™ and Nectaron®
What flavours do the hops provide?
Nectaron® was released to great fanfare in 2020, and the 2022 crop had brewers frothing across the globe, with NZ Hops’ quality manager and grower liaison Lauren Yap quoted by Beer and Brewer as saying: “The quality of the crop has been exceptionally high, with great aromas and a lot of cones harvested off the bines that are abundant with golden lupulin”.
NZ Hops’ operations and supply manager David Woods added: “The early indications for crop quality across the board are very good and we expect the brewers will be very happy with any 2022 product they receive”.
So, we had to get our hands on some! And when we did, Head Brewer Kristian and his team Ajay, Erin and Grant dreamt up an absolute ripper, mixing Nectaron® with Nelson Sauvin™ and Wai-iti™ for TWØBAYS limited release number 16.
Wai-iti™ hops accentuate stone fruit aromas, marrying the medley of Nectaron® pineapple, passion fruit, peach and grapefruit with Nelson Sauvin™ bringing a distinctive cool climate white wine “fruitiness”.
Hops take beautifully to the Nelson region’s sunshine, temperate climate and rain ratio – so much so that they grow freely on the road side. Farms located close to the sea make the most of the unique soil composition (as with wine grapes) that imparts a distinctive character unlike hops grown in any other region in the world. Sandy, well-drained loam soil creates the perfect balance of acidity for survival, abundance, maturity and suitability to harvesting.
What does the IPA taste like?
The flavours are big – this is a beer bursting to get out! Explosive apricot, strawberry and blackcurrant aromas jump forward to begin with, in a complex mix of fruity aromas, backed by an exotic, but balanced, bitter mandarin and passionfruit character.
IPA, or India Pale Ale, is one of the oldest styles of beer out there. It's a bigger version of its base style Pale Ale – bigger in flavour, ABV and hop profile – generally brewed to 6.0% abv or higher to stay true to a style that was first brewed in Britain in the late 1700’s.
Although some evidence suggests that IPAs were brewed earlier, the name came from British sailors who travelled to India as part of the East India Company in the late 1700s. The beer was pioneered to drink specifically on export to India, because it was too hot to brew on the subcontinent and because it matured en route.
How is it different from TWØBAYS Core IPA?
Lighter in colour and hazier than our core IPA – think hazy pale straw – the NZ IPA presents with a similar balanced bitterness, but the addition of biscuit malt, New England Yeast and the triumvirate of New Zealand hops, unleash a bit tropical punch on the beer to steer it to the fruitier side, away from our more traditional core IPA.
"Beers like NECTARIPA are the reason I started this brewery," said CEO and Founder Richard Jeffares.
"Experimenting with these big, bold flavours are exactly what I missed about craft beer after I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in 2015. Only gluten free breweries in the US (as I found out on reconnaissance mission) and the UK were brewing beers like this. And to drink those beers in Australia was super expensive – and left you wishing you could try them fresh or on tap, paired with great food and friends. These flavours and experiences are what we wanted to bring to gluten free beer in Australia."