Shropshire Gold, a 3.8 percent abv English style golden ale from the Salopian Brewery in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, is sparkling gold in colour, with rich malt and a bold hop presence on the nose. This nicely balanced golden ale is a forthright but not overwhelmingly bitter beer. The finish has malt to the fore, with a crisp and balancing undertow of hop bitterness. It’s one tasty brew that would be fabulous on cask.
Flagship, a 5.5 percent abv English style IPA from the Hook Norton Brewery, Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, is a bottle conditioned ale that presents an orange colour and big fruit on the nose, with hints of marmalade. Chewy malt is neatly intersected by a fresh cut of hop bitterness on the palate. The finish has hops over sweetish malt followed by sweep of hops and a lasting bitterness. Flagship is a well structured IPA from a tower brewery and, according to the brewery, is ‘handcrafted in the Cotswold Hills’ in celebration of the battle of Trafalgar.
Jubilation, a 4.7 percent abv English pale ale, brewed at the Freeminer Brewery in the Royal Forest of Dean for The Co-operative was brewed using hand-turned floor malt from the Warminster Maltings and Brambling Cross hops grown in Worcestershire. Fresh malt and spicy hops invade on the nose of this golden coloured ale. On the palate, choice hop bitterness blends happily with rich, chewy malt. The finish produces a finely tuned match of hops and malt, with a late hit of dryness in this limited edition release. goodwithfood.co.uk
Wow. A total of 21 pounds of fresh, green organic Cascade hops were harvested at the Hughey Hop Garden on the Danforth, a record crop! Gifts of hop garlands to Allen’s and the Brass Taps of Toronto accounted for a further two or three pounds of unpicked hop bines.
When I first started growing hops over 10 years ago, the concerns were for enough sun and sufficient timely water from the heavens.
There was also a concern about verticulum wilt, especially so for a climbing plant that couldn’t. But it never happened.
One year aphids appeared and chewed the leaves that shelter the hops from direct sunlight and watery downpours. The result was a very poor harvest. However, the next year nature supplied the solution-a white spider, which I had never seen before, but apparently aphids were its favourite food.
This year it was the itinerant hop pickers that caused me grief. Andrea went off to star in a play in Hamilton, Julian set off into the valley to direct a play, Judith had much needed foot surgery, and Will, a late volunteer replacement, headed off to Germany on a beer junket!
In spite of these setbacks, I picked away starting in late August, usually gathering one or two pounds a day, while Caroline and I did a couple of sessions with around four pounds of hops picked.
All in all, a fabulous year for growing hops. Now I have to get brewing.
Book now: 416 778 1804
In celebration of Toronto Beer Week, Dora Keogh, 141 Danforth Avenue in Toronto, presents at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 15:
A Cask Ale Showcase with three new beers designed by Robert Hughey and brewed at Amsterdam Brewing Company.
Hughey’s Golden Ale, Mid-Lantic IPA and Saskatoon Berry Stout will be accompanied by four food pairings from Allen’s Chef Ponniah Vijeyratnam.
Grilled Colossal Shrimp with Chili Rub
Chicken Poached in Lettuce Leaf
Lamb Pastie with Allen’s Molasses-Lager Sauce
Chocolate Guinness Cake
The Golden Ale is in the English style and features 2-row malt, a pinch of crystal malt and traditional hops, including East Kent Golding and Fuggle.
Mid-Lantic IPA utilizes Fuggle and Golding hops from England and Columbus from the USA, as well as green organic Cascade from the Hughey hop garden (pictured above right).
Saskatoon Berry Stout features roasted barley, organic Saskatoon berries and Cascade hops from the Hughey Estate, as well as Golding and Fuggle.
Robert will introduce and discuss his creations. Tickets are $45.00 and include ale, food pairings, taxes and gratuity.
From 3:00 o’clock onward, Robert’s Cask Ales will be available for general sale at $4.85 the half-pint and $7.50 the pint.