Learn more about your favourite brews below
Hops are the cone shaped flower of the Humulus Lupuus plant, a beautiful vine that can be found growing the world over. Hops are cultivated for wide ranging characteristics and contribute to the flavour and aroma of beer. Hops can be used for bittering, aroma and flavour or a combination of the two and brewers select the varieties based on the style of beer they want to make. Floral, herbal and bitter hops tend to be hallmarks of traditional lagers while low bitterness and tropical fruit flavours and aromas tend to be used in pales ales, IPA’s and specialty ales.
IPA is an abbreviated form of India Pale Ale, a style born out of necessity. In the late 1700’s English troops based in India found themselves craving a refreshing ale more suitable to their newfound climate, and the traditional porters and brown ales from home were just a little too heavy to quench their colonial thirst. After a great deal of experimentation, a brewer by the name of George Hodgson came up with a strong ale, jam packed with bitter hops and high in alcohol in an attempt to protect the beer from spoilage on its six month journey east. It was a roaring success, with other commercial examples to follow. Over time, the English IPA lost popularity in it’s country of origin and it wasn’t until the 1970’s when beer makers in America resurrected the style, making it their own and laying the foundation of what we know to be modern IPA’s
It’s all about time, temperature and yeast. Without getting too technical, each of these styles is fermented at different temperatures and for different periods. Lagers are fermented and conditioned at low, cool temps and ales by comparison are brewed at warmer temperatures. Lagers tend to have narrow, clean flavour profiles and ferment slowly, with cool ‘lagering’ periods post fermentation where the beer is given time to clean up. Ales have wide ranging flavour profiles and a huge number of sub styles and producing them is much faster than lagers due to heat loving yeast that munch through the sugars much faster.
This is one of those ‘does what it says on the pack’ kind of deals. The wines are left to their own devices, with nothing added or removed by the winemaker and where less is more is the approach. Limited, minimum, lo fi and natural wines are all birds of a feather, true expressions of the ingredients, their place and the talents of the winemaker.
Strictly speaking, no.
While all Tequila is Mezcal, not all Mezcal is Tequila. Confused? Read on.
Tequila is exclusively derived from the Blue Agave and is generally produced by steaming the agave hearts prior to fermentation and distillation. It can only be labelled ‘tequila’ if its is produced in one of five recognised states in Mexico.
Unlike tequila, mezcal can be produced in all other states of Mexico, from a number of different species of Agave. Unlike the steaming process of used in the production of tequila, the hearts of the agave are roasted in pits or ovens, producing a smokier profile.
What’s in a name?
- Blanco – Spirit aged and bottled within a two month period.
- Reposado – Aged and bottled between three months and a year.
- Anjeo – Aged and bottled between one to three years, sometimes even longer.
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