Monday 12 October 2009

Beer of the Week - Oct 12 - Trafalgar Hop Nouveau

650 mL bottle
Price: $ 5.95
5.0% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content : 4
Made in: Ontario, Canada
By: Trafalgar Ales And Meads Ltd.

For my third Beer of the Week, in celebration of the long Thanksgiving weekend, I am trying the Hop Nouveau 2009 from Trafalgar Ale and Meads. My wife, Teena, who set up this blog for me, was in the LCBO Friday and spotted this new offering on the shelves. It sounded quite different so she picked up a bottle for me.

My wife rocks!!

So what makes this beer so different?

It's the way the hops are used. Usually hops are harvested and dried, either in pellet form or as a bud. A new style of hopping beer is starting to be used in North America and Trafalgar is the first brewery in Ontario to use this process ... wet hopping.

In wet hopping, the hops are added fresh to the brew kettle on the same day they were picked. Along with adding that wonderful bitterness to the brew, it also is supposed to add a grassy quality to the flavour.

According to the label on the bottle, my hops were picked on September 6, 2009, from a farm in Tillsonburg, ON, the beer brewed the same day and bottled on September 21.

The beer pours a little darker amber colour and is a little cloudy as it is unfiltered. There is a nice bitterness in the taste and in the finish. I did not detect any grassiness in the taste but this is a very nice tasting pale ale.

I am unsure if wet hopping adds any extra or different flavours to a brew but would try a wet hopped beer again. My hat is off to Trafalgar for being bold enough to not only try a different process but also for keeping this a very local beer, with very local ingredients.