Terroir: Not just for the Sommeliers

Terroir: Not just for the Sommeliers

Let’s take a leap into the world of terroir! Yes, you heard right – terroir isn’t just for wine snobs. Terroir also has a say in our fave froth’s flavour – especially hop laden IPAs!

Picture a sun-drenched field of hop bines with cones basking on a warm afternoon vs a cold hill in the northern reaches of Europe – if you think you would have a hard time acclimatising, imagine how the hops feel! Weather patterns, altitude, soil conditions, even the local flora and fauna can have a significant effect on the flavours hops offer to a brew. A hop grown in the Yakima Valley in Washington has about as much in common with a hop grown in Bavaria as a gun slinging cowboy has with a lederhosen wearing pretzel chef.

This year, Hawkers have been experimenting with the effects of terroir on beer. Their latest endeavour digs into how harvest timing can effect flavour. ‘Early Harvest’ was created from hops picked at the beginning of the harvest, whilst ‘Late Harvest’ used the exact same hops from the exact same farm but picked ten days later (yes even ten days can have an effect!) After some highly technical scientific tests conducted by the hardworking team at Carwyn (i.e. enjoying a couple of cold ones on a Thursday afternoon) it appears that the younger hops give more under ripe fruit and white wine character, while the older hops had more time for more volatile aromatic compounds (I told you it was scientific!) to develop, and produce deeper flavours of tropical fruits like mango and peach.

So next time that one friend that only drinks wine from Bordeaux starts droning on about soil types and altitudes, you can tell them you’ve heard it all before and get back to sipping on a nice cold IPA!

Want to check out other IPAs?

Shop Carwyn Cellar's full range of IPAs and dive straight into the hops!

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