It either says we've got a long way to go to develop our nasal skills or that even the much-maligned Pride of Ringwood hop can get fruity when given the chance to shine. The traditional Aussie hop used for bitterness in many mainstream beers - and more craft ones than you might imagine - is viewed by some in the local beer world as the equivalent of a Dutch oven - and not the thick-walled one used for cooking. Yet it's been undergoing something of a revival, with Temple using it and (almost) nothing else in its Temple Brunswick Draught, for example. Up in Beechworth, Ben Kraus decided to see what would happen when given the treatment thus far meted out to the far trendier Galaxy, Stella and Summer varieties - ie used by the truckload in a single hop IPA. As for our nasal prowess, when a pot of it was first plonked in front of us by the brewer alongside one of the other IPAs, we had a double take as to which was the Pride. Turns out the ugly duckling actually possesses some rather pungent citrusy, even tropical fruit notes. Tis only later in the affair that the rather rough, earthy bitterness rides into town to remind you just who you're dealing with.
Published February 10, 2012 2012-02-10 00:00:00