Supervised by Budweiser Budvar’s brewmaster and the representatives of the hop-growing joint-stock company ARIX, a special beer batch using fresh hops was brewed in the early evening yesterday. 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, with Budweiser Budvar probably being the only Czech brewery that will brew using fresh hops this year.
On Tuesday 3rd September in the morning, the hops of the Saaz “Žatecký poloraný červeňák” cultivar weighing a total of 360 kg were harvested on the “Splav“ hop field, which belongs to the famous locality of “Údolí Zlatého potoka” (“Golden Stream Valley”) in the cadastre of the hop-growing municipality of Blšany. Numbering amongst the leading Czech companies on the hop market, ARIX, joint-stock company supplied the hops. As early as by 4 p.m., the freshly picked hops were in Budweiser Budvar’s brewing house added to a special batch of BUD Premier Select - beer with 16% gravity and a final alcohol content of 7.5% vol.
“The hopping 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. The fresh hops supply the beer with a higher amount of aromatic substances and a rather more distinct, yet fine bitterness as compared with dried hop,” says Budweiser Budvar’s brewmaster Adam Brož, Ph.D.
Budweiser Budvar Brewery is going to brew only one 400-hectolitre batch of BUD Premier Select with using fresh hops this year. The beer brewed on 3rd September 2013 can be savoured by customers in the second half of March 2014, since the maturing period of BUD is around 200 days. The special beer made from fresh hops is going to be supplied in 20-litre kegs only to selected restaurants and pubs around the Czech Republic.
Beer made from fresh hops was brewed in Budweiser Budvar Brewery last August for the first time. “At the time, there was no one in the brewery who would have any personal experience with fresh hops. The product pleasantly surprised us and as a result, beer connoisseurs consumed the whole batch within several days. That is why we are brewing this extraordinary batch this year again,” adds Adam Brož.