Attention all Coners - Harvest Conehead Air-Hopped IPA has landed

Posted on Friday 15/04/2016

We know how much you Coners hang out for our signature green hop brew each year…

Well, the wait is over with our fresh hop 2016 Harvest Conehead 6% Air-Hopped IPA, making its annual air drop into retail outlets and craft beer bars this week (15 April).

This year, Paddy the Brewer (a.k.a. Tuatara brewing wunderkind, Patrick Sharpe), was our fresh hop mule, jumping onboard the Sounds Air Cessna in the wee hours of the morning (thanks, Keg God Dave, for the crack-of-dawn lift to Welly airport) to collect the precious cargo of Nelson Sauvin hops from Mac Hops in Motueka.

There was a 50% increase of our hop haul this year, with the 1200kg collection calling for two trips over the Cook Strait and back to the Kapiti Coast for immediate brewing whilst the hops were still at their freshest.

(Paddy the Brewer’s transit lounge in between flights was the Mac Hop farm, where he frolicked amongst hop bines and inhaled aromas of freshly picked cones as they were packed into bushels - a brewer’s dream.)

Tuatara Brewery Manager, CJ, says the increase comes down to the popularity of the green hop.

“Hop harvest is a once-a-year phenomenon, where the beer is brewed with freshly picked hops, as opposed to hops in their dried, processed pellet form - and people really anticipate these green hop beers.

“Conehead has a great following, and we find there’s more and more people wanting it every year. Doing it in that volume also gives us the opportunity to share our love a bit further afield.”

Giving another meaning to “air-hopped”: Conehead will be winging it overseas with product made available for international beer drinkers in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, China and Sweden.

CJ says he thinks Coners will be pleased with the 2016 vintage of Conehead, which he said has a subtle variation to last year’s brew, due to the conditions of the harvest’s season.

“There’s always those subtle differences in the season’s vintage, which makes it quite exciting. I think that’s one of the joys of brewing green hop beers is that you have to really work with the variation of every harvest. It’s kind of like a grape vintage.

“Each year should be subtly different to the next. I know a couple of years ago it was extremely aromatic. This year, the hops are aromatic - a little more subdued - but there’s a little more complexity, which will impart more layers of complimentary flavour in the beer.

"But everyone can enjoy those vibrant, fresh notes of passionfruit, gooseberry and grapefruit that only Nelson Sauvin can notoriously provide!"

Jonesing for a Conehead yet?

Conehead’s seasonal release is available on tap and in 500ml bottles. Click here to see where you can hunt down your stash.

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