Supervised by Budweiser Budvar’s brewing-house master and his other colleagues from the brewery, special beer BUD B:STRONG Limited Edition was brewed using fresh hop cones on the early evening of Friday 29th August. It was already the third year of this limited edition. The hops were harvested on the “Splav“ hop field, which belongs to the famous locality of “Golden Stream Valley” (Údolí Zlatého potoka) in the cadastre of the hop- growing municipality of Blšany, only several hours before. Numbering amongst the leading Czech hop sellers and traders, ARIX, joint-stock company supplied the hops of Saaz “Žatecký poloraný červeňák” cultivar.
“Brewing beer using fresh hops represents a kind of ‘sacred day’ for all of us, when we pay tribute to the brewing trade and rare fresh ingredients. The hopping of the limited edition of beer took place in the traditional way we use for all the other beer - by hand-adding of hop cones directly into the mashing pot in three lots,” says Budweiser Budvar’s brewmaster Adam Brož, Ph.D. Special beer BUD B:STRONG Limited Edition with the gravity of 16° and 7.5 % ABV, has a very long maturing period - 200 days. Fresh hops supply the beer with a higher amount of aromatic substances and a rather more distinct, yet fine bitterness compared to dried hops. Combined with distinctive taste characteristics of strong special beer, a unique beer originates. "Since we have used the hops from the same hop field for the third year, we can clearly see the differences in harvests caused by different weather conditions in the particular year. Every year we can look forward to the fine nuances especially in the aroma, character and intensity of the bitterness. In each batch of the limited beer edition, we can thus explore together with the beer connoisseurs different sensory properties from year to year,” adds Adam Brož.
Fresh hop cones rank amongst the rarest brewing ingredients, as they must be processed instantly after their harvest, therefore on the same day they were picked. For that reason they are only used infrequently in brewing. Beer made from fresh hops was brewed in Budweiser Budvar Brewery in August 2012 for the first time. Owing to the interest of consumers, the originally experimental batch has become a tradition. “At the time, there was no one in the brewery who would have any personal experience with fresh hops. Nonetheless, the outcome was successful and our customers consumed the whole batch within several days,” concludes Adam Brož.
The beer brewed on 29th August 2014 can be savoured by customers in selected restaurants and pubs this weekend. It is going to be supplied only in 20-litre kegs. Besides the Czech Republic, it will be drawn in Italy, Germany, Slovakia and the United Kingdom as well.