Staff and volunteers from Canberra’s Capital Brewing Company and the Cobargo Folk Festival descended on the recently-established Ryefield Hops farm in Bemboka on February 15 to harvest hops for a very special beer.
Wandella Wet Hopped Pale Ale will debut at the festival and is a collaboration between Capital, Ryefield and the festival that celebrates local produce and community values.
“Much-lauded wet hopped beers can only be brewed once a year when the hop cones are picked off the bine and go straight into the brew,” Capital’s brewer Matt Thiele said.
“This gives wet-hopped beers a unique quality that can not be replicated any other way.
“We’re aiming for a smooth, easy-drinking pale ale with a biscuity malt backbone and hint of caramel that gives way to resinous aromas of grapefruit, pine and a hint of freshly cut grass - a highly desirable trademark of wet-hoped beers.”
Fresh Chinook and Cascade hops were hand-picked by the teams then transported immediately to Capital's Canberra brewhouse to create the beer that will be ready just in time for the iconic festival, now in its 24th year, which begins on March 1.
“The timing of the festival presented an amazing opportunity to work with a new, local hop grower and bring such a brew to fruition,” Cobargo Folk Festival executive director Zena Armstrong said.
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide our festival goers with such an amazing, locally grown and made product.”
This year’s harvest will be the biggest yet for Ryefield which commenced operation in 2017 on a former dairy farm in Bemboka.
They are one of the only hop growers in NSW, the closest to both Capital’s brewery and Cobargo, and Ryefield owner Karen Taylor is a regular at the festival.
“We’re delighted that our hops will feature in a beer at a festival we love so close to home,” she said.
“And the timing’s great! Hop harvest is hard work and we’ll be well and truly ready for a cold brew by the time of the festival.”
Also established in 2017, the multi-award winning Capital Brewing Company is one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the country. They are the official sponsor of the Cobargo Folk Festival this year.
Wandella Wet Hopped Pale Ale will only be available from the festival bar. For tickets and more information on the festival click here.