Colour: Pale gold.
Hops: Fuggles, brewed 2nd September 2020.
Grains: Pale Maris Otter, crystal, wheat.
Availability: From 9th September 2020.
Green Swan is our well-regarded green hop beer. This year the Herefordshire hop harvest runs from late August through to late September. If you are travelling through the county you may see heavily laden wires in hop yards in Dilwyn, Ashperton, Bosbury, Munderfield being relieved of their hop bines for another year. Locally grown hop varieties include Fuggles, Goldings, Instone, Olicana, Cascade, Challenger, Admiral and Jester.
On Wednesday 2nd September we brewed a batch of Green Swan with Fuggles hops grown by Rob Hancocks at Wyercroft Farm in Bishops Frome. Fuggles is a venerable variety of British hops which first became commercially available in 1875. Used for aroma, late in the boil, the fresh Fuggles hops will lend a delicate grassy, minty aroma to this 4.1% light golden ale.
Our second Green Swan batch was brewed on 15th September with Bullion hops grown by Simon Parker at Instone Court. Another venerable variety, Bullions bears the hallmarks of Professor Ernest Salmon of Wye College and was released pre WW2. We found these hops to be more intense in aroma than the Fuggles and filled the brewery with spicy, tropical aromas, though red fruits are also often cited as a characteristic.
The hops are picked in the morning: the bines are brought down from the wires; passed through machinery to take the cones from the bines and leaves, stems and twiggy bits removed. We use about 8 times the weight of fresh, green hops compared to dried hop flowers, hence we travel back to the brewery from the hop yard with several large nets of the green hops. Head Brewer Jimmy Swan times brewing so that the field fresh hops can be in the copper soon after they are delivered back to the brewery. Typical turn around time is 2-3 hours.
Both Green Swans will be available at our 2nd October Tasting Day.