Sprig + Fern Brewing Co. in Nelson has today released the first commercially brewed beer containing a brand new, and until now top-secret hop varietal.
Trial hop NZH-106 is the star of the new, limited release beer, named Headliner ft. NZH-106 NZIPA.
The experimental hop is part of NZ Hops’ Bract Brewing Programme, which seeks to develop and release new and exciting hop varieties to market through a network of Master Growers. Previous alumni of the Programme include Nectaron® and the recently released Superdelic™.
Sprig + Fern is among a select group of brewers chosen for the Programme, and as such are given advanced access to new hop varietals. Brewers are tasked with brewing and commercially releasing beers that use these trial hops, providing sensory and other feedback to NZ Hops along the way.
Sprig + Fern Master Brewer and Owner, Tracy Banner, says:
“We feel incredibly fortunate to have such a good relationship with the NZ Hops and Bract Brewing teams, and when they mentioned the potential to brew with this new hop we knew we had to jump at the opportunity.
“What we’ve ended up with is an NZIPA that is incredibly drinkable, with aromas of fruit salad and lovely tropical and citrus flavours. It has given us just enough bitterness. We’re really delighted with how it’s turned out – we’re sure NZ Hops will be, too.”
Regarding the design of the beer, Sprig + Fern Marketing + Communications Executive, Daniel Tipping, says:
“The name and direction of this beer was inspired by Dr Ron Beatson – when he dropped these hops off to us, freshly harvested and pelletised, he told us we’d been handed the ‘future rockstar’ of New Zealand’s hop growers. We knew we had to play on that.
“We loved the idea of a giant NZH-106 hop, centre stage, in the spotlight, in front of a crowd of adoring fans. We’re really happy with the design, and even happier with the hops and how they’ve translated to the beer – we just hope beer drinkers will enjoy it enough to request an encore!”
Headliner ft. NZH-106 NZIPA is available on tap from today in the thirteen Sprig + Fern Taverns in Wellington, Nelson, Tasman and Christchurch, as well as Little Sprig Seatoun. Eager drinkers can also find it in 440ml cans and 888ml bottles in select stores nationwide, or from the Sprig + Fern online shop.
Have you tried Headliner ft. NZH-106 NZIPA? Help shape the development of this trial hop here.