Home' Hospitality Business : HB AUG 2016 Contents New Zealand Draught, are all beer styles that you can expect to see
more of as both brewers and drinkers tire of over-the-top options and
look to produce beers that are r ich with “story”, but still new to the
average drinker who has not had a fresh, premium version of the style.
THE GROWTH OF THE SOUR
One could not talk about beer trends without mentioning sours. Unlike
traditional beer, which is brewed with any number of strains of brewer’s
yeast, Sour Beer is produced by the addition of bacter ia. Lactobacillus,
pediococcus, acetobacter and other strains of bacter ia are commonly used
to produce tart acids and complex flavours. However, unlike traditional
beers which can often be produced in as little as four or five days, the
unpredictable contribution of bacter ia can take years to evolve and mellow
into something desirable, much like a red wine.Traditionally produced in
Belgium, Sour beer became popular with American home brewers in recent
years. This has resulted in an explosion of sour beer programs the world
over. New Zealand - home to the largest barrel program in the Southern
Hemisphere (at 8 Wired Brewing Company) - being no exception.
While it must be pointed out that sour beer is ver y much a present
trend, it is one that may very well still be in its infancy.The style has
certainly become “all the rage” in craft beer circles, however there is
some debate as to whether or not the trend has peaked or whether it
will go on to become “the new IPA” as many are calling it, particularly
in the US.The new IPA, it may not be. However, sour beer is a unique
style that has the potential of appealing to a very wide audience if
marketed and presented in the cor rect way.
Tart, complex, and often wine-like, sour beers appeal to both beer
aficionados, and those who typically don’t care for beer. The complex
production process, limited quantity, and long aging times appeal to
the craft beer elite, and the extremely low levels of hop bitter ness and
complex flavours tend to appeal to those who don’t care for the bitter
quality of most IPAs, Pale Ale’s and lagers, or the astringent roasted
qualities of Porters and Stouts. While the heights to which sour beer
will rise remain to be seen, this is certainly a smolder ing style that may
very well ignite in the years to come.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TERROIR
Ter roir is one of those snooty words you often hear thrown around
when discussing wine. In short, it simply refers to the way that the
growing conditions affect the flavour and aroma of food.When
discussing wine, ter roir refers to how the environment effects grapes.
Were the grapes grown by the ocean? Was the soil they were grown in
sandy or dense with clay? Was the wine aged in bar rels made from local
oak? Each one of these factors can impact the final product and is an
expression of the local environment.
As the average consumer is increasingly eco-conscious and interested
in all things local, and as beer production has come to be seen as more
art than manufactur ing, ter roir is something being more and more
valued by craft beer drinkers. With New Zealand having ideal growing
conditions for both hops and barley, ter roir is something you can
expect consumers to value more in the years ahead.
New Zealand hops are highly regarded by beer lovers around the
world, and have some truly unique aspects as compared to those grown
elsewhere. Rather than the fresh citrusy flavours that you get from the
Amer ican hops of the Pacific Northwest (orange and grapefruit), Kiwi
hops tend to demonstrate more tropical flavours such as passion fruit,
mandar in, lime, and gooseber ry. Hops with traditional or igins are also
grown in New Zealand (Fuggles, Cascade, etc) but tend to take on
different character istics. For example NZ Fuggles (a hop var iety used in
many British beer styles) takes on a fresh lemony flavour, as compared
to the more earthy nature of the UK grown Fuggles.
Meanwhile, the cool nights of Canterbury present ideal growing
conditions for barley.There, the northwest winds allow the barley to dry
naturally in the fields, as compared to the barley grown in the UK or
Australia, which is often artificially dried after harvesting due to much
damper conditions, or Australian barley which is challenged by intense heat.
This is not to say that one is necessar ily better than any other, but rather to
Hospitality BUSINESS | August 2016 | 63
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