When it comes to beer-drinking the average punter doesn’t often stop to think about the types of malt, hops or yeast that have gone into the brew. Especially if you’re six pints deep. If it’s not written explicitly on the label, the main concern is whether it tastes good or not; being fairly unperturbed as to the precise ingredients.
Now, because a lot of beer-makers combine multiple hops or malt sources in their quest for the ‘perfect brew’ it’s not often something that warrants a lot of attention.
Like a chef obsessed with a single spice, or an artist utilising shades of just one colour, Brooklyn Brewery discovered a unique hop and used it to produce a truly amazing Saison.
The hop in question is the Sorachi Ace. Custom engineered, it was created by brewing giants Sapporo in 1988. Originating from a combination of the British ‘Brewer’s Gold’ hops and Czech classic ‘Saaz’, the Sorachi Ace differed from many hops by displaying lemon, bubblegum and dill flavours; as opposed to the passionfruit, grapefruit, and pine flavours offered by others.
However, the Sorachi Ace found itself largely unused by a large portion of brewers, and was considered ‘rare’ for a time – Brooklyn Brewery use just one farm in Washington to provide their Sorachi Ace.
Since 2008 the hop has become commercially available, and is now a more popular choice amongst beer-makers. I think the world is a better place for it.
For one, it means there’s a whole lot more Sorachi Ace to be used to make beers like Brooklyn Brewery’s!
Fermenting pre-and-post boil with the Sorachi Ace, and fermented with a special Belgian yeast, this unfiltered farmhouse ale is up there with the best I’ve drunk.
Pouring with a bright white head and presenting with aromas of lemon, honey, and a hint of fresh bread, the beer is dry and hoppy with a spicy lemongrass flavour, an oh so slight ‘funk’ to it, wrapped up with a clean finish. The beer tastes like (according to some) ‘sunshine in a glass’.
And who am I to argue with that?