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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Getting Slapped in the Face with a Hoppy Rag at Deep Creek Brewing Co in Auckland, NZ

Hoppy Beers

If you say "hoppy beer" to anyone that doesn't know beer, they think of bitter beer.

Bitterness is a typical characteristic of some European style beers. The lighter beers of the Pilsner and Lager styles thrive on a bit of bitterness to quench your thirst. Some readily available mainstream commercial beers which used Pilsners and Lagers as their foundation for their taste profiles perpetuated this play on bitterness. We think it is to the detriment of the beverage's reputation. Beer should be better.


In the early days of craft brewing, the brewers also managed to get bitterness wrong (some still do). You often end up with tonsil-throttling gill-destroying bitterness in an American or Indian Pale Ale, with a healthy dose of excuses claiming that if you cannot stand the heat (bitterness) in the kitchen (craft brewery's beer), then you better get out (drink some Bud, bud). Bitter is cruft!

No, it is not! Hops have many roles to play in beer. It imparts bitterness. It has a preservation effect to keep beer yeasts happy. Most importantly, Hops is about flavour. Flavour is all about profile and balance.

What people are discovering, with more beer choices on the market, is that bitterness is only one part, although an important, part that hops play in the flavour profile of a style. We believe there is a much bigger part, which most beer drinkers don't really know about, understand or appreciate. It is the ability of Hops to impart unique flavours to beer.

If hops flavouring is where the rubber hits the road for a good beer, it is also where the wheels come off. For all the angelic flavouring qualities the immaculately expensive hops from all the corners of the world bestow on our favourite beverage, they have one unfortunately quality. They are masters at escaping. As soon as you get them into beer, they have this one unfortunate peculiarity. They pull a vanishing act.

It has driven many a brewer to drink trying to solve this simple dilemma. They can pull off a juicy, citrussy cloudy ale with perfection, only to discover their creation became just another flat clear pale ale three weeks later. If you know what they know, and we know, you will drink the beer when it is fresh and ready. Choose your timing wisely. A week later and it is no longer be the master creation it was intended to be because the Hops flavours departed.

What if you can make the perfect beer and still have it perfect for weeks and months later with the same breathtakingly beautiful aromas and flavours, as the day it came cold crashed from the fermenter?

You can now. The world of beer is about to change forever. Steamed distilled Hops Oil makes it possible. It is popping up everywhere - even in New Zealand, and it is making the beer better. We've had our own disasters brewing with it. However, with a little practice, refinement and restraint we have discovered a whole new world of taste in beer - the way it was meant to be.

For more about Hops Oil, have a look at this entry in our Blog about Glacier Hops Ranch and their HopzOil Product.


On our recent whirlwind tour of New Zealand, we crashed into Scott Taylor of Deep Creek Brewing Co., at the Dunedin Craft Beerfest. We did a double take when he mentioned that they have a beer, a very popular one, that they made with Hops oil.

Now, there is Hops oil and then there is Hops oil. We were skeptical. But, he had our attention when he mentioned that it was steam distilled oil from fresh New Zealand hops. Apparently, they bet the Hops farm, bought a whole bunch of fresh hops from a farmer in the South Island and got a lavender oil distillery in Christchurch to distill them some oil. Next thing is, they are selling out on Hops Oil beer!

We thought that that North American craft brewers were the pioneers. In typical Kiwi fashion, they knocked something up in the barn and before you know it, the Kiwis are not just keeping up with the Jones', they are leading the charge!

Meet Paul, Scott and Jarred.  They’re the original guys behind Deep Creek Brewing Co, the craft beer brewery from Auckland, New Zealand. Deep Creek was born from a long-term friendship and a burning desire to produce flavour fuelled handcrafted beer and bring it to the kiwi masses (and people as far as Norway) to enjoy.

We loved their beer and their innovation. They have a pretty good restaurant and bar in Browns Bay, North Shore, Auckland too. We will be back with more from Deep Creek. In the meantime, enjoy the video and let them know the Two Cowboys sent you!

Hoppy Beer Cowboy

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