Two batches of seasonal beer were brewed in the Budweiser Budvar Brewery’s brewing house using fresh cones on the evening of Wednesday 26th August. 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. Limited editions of beer made from fresh hops have been regularly brewed in Budweiser Budvar since August 2012.
Numbering amongst the leading Czech hop sellers and traders, ARIX, joint-stock company supplied the hops for the seasonal beer. Fresh hops of Saaz “Žatecký poloraný červeňák” cultivar were harvested on the “Splav“ hop field, which belongs to the famous locality of the “Golden Stream Valley” near the hop- growing municipality of Blšany, on the morning of 26th August. On behalf of the brewery, the harvest was supervised directly in the field by the brewing master Adam Brož, Ph.D., MBA, the beer quality management specialist Petr Košin, Ph.D and Budvar’s sommelier Aleš Dvořák. “Brewing beer using fresh hops represents a kind of ‘sacred day’ for all of us, when we pay tribute to our key ingredient and the work of hop producers once a year. We would like to thank you the ARIX company for excellent cooperation and coaction during the harvest,” says Budweiser Budvar’s brewing master Adam Brož, Ph.D., MBA.
Two batches of special beer BUD B:STRONG Limited Edition with the gravity of 16° and 7.5 % ABV were brewed. The hopping took place in the traditional Budvar way - by the hand-adding of hop cones directly into the mashing pot in three lots. “Fresh hops supply the beer with a higher amount of aromatic substances and a rather more distinct, yet fine bitterness compared to dried hops. Since we have used the hops from the same hop field for several years, we can clearly see the annual differences in harvests caused by different weather conditions in the particular year. In each batch of our seasonal beer we can thus explore the fine nuances, especially in the aroma, character and intensity of the bitterness,” explains Adam Brož.
The special beer from fresh hops BUD B:STRONG brewed on 26th August 2015 can be savoured by customers in selected restaurants and pubs in the second half of March 2016, as it has an extraordinary long maturing period of 200 days. It is going to be supplied only in 20-litre kegs. Besides the Czech Republic, it will be drawn in several other countries as well.
Beer made from fresh hops was brewed in the Budweiser Budvar brewery in August 2012 for the first time. “At the time, there was no one in the brewery who would have any personal experience with fresh hops. Nonetheless, the outcome was pleasantly surprising, as our customers consumed the whole batch within several days. A similar situation occurred with the second and third series of batches. You just don’t get tired of this beer, so waiting 200 days to find out what the same hop field ‘prepared’ for the beer favourers this year will be well worth it,” concludes Adam Brož.