Wales biggest real ale brewer SA Brain is to launch its first ever beer made using fresh, or green, hops. But not only is Green Dragon a true seasonal beer, it’s also a local one – using hops from Brains’ very own Ty Mawr pub in Cardiff.
Above: hops growing in the garden of the Ty-Mawr
Instead of conventional dried hops, the 4.1% pale ale uses freshly harvested hops – some from one of Brains’ hop suppliers in Herefordshire and some courtesy of the Lisvane pub.
Bill Dobson, Brains’ head brewer explains: “Hop plants are harvested in September every year, and to make sure brewers have enough to last them until the next harvest, the hops are quickly dried and packed to keep them as fresh as possible.
“Because fresh hops have to be added to beer less than 12 hours after being picked, we only get the chance to produce a beer like this once a year, making it a true seasonal product with a distinctive taste that I hope our customers enjoy.”
Bill and his brewing team made the trip to Pridewood Farm in Herefordshire earlier this month to select the hops for Green Dragon, and early the following morning they were added to the brew. The casks were late-hopped with extra hops from the Ty Mawr. The pub’s manager, Graham Wheatley, explains:
“We’ve got our own vegetable patch, or compost corner, in the pub garden, which we use to grow vegetables to supply the pub kitchen. Last year we thought we’d try our hand at hops. We’ll be selling Green Dragon in the pub and will be able to tell customers it was made using hops from the garden. I’m sure it’s going to go down well.”
Green Dragon will be available in 30 Brains pubs from early October. To find your nearest pub click here