Hop Garden Series: A Celebration of the Flavour Profiles of our Favourite Hops
As a brewery it’s only right and proper that we’d end up having favourite hops. After all, they’re one of the four foundational building blocks of our beers, alongside malt, yeast and water. At Wiper and True, some of our best loved hops are old faithfuls: varieties that we’ve worked with since time immemorial (or at least when Michael and Al first started brewing back in their student days). We’d put the popular American variety Citra into this category; a big, bold hop boasting a complex, broad flavour profile that is truly bursting with ripe mango and juicy sweetness. If you know the Wiper and True range well, you’ll probably recognise both the name Citra and its flavours from many of our beers: it often makes up one third of the hop content in our flagship pale ale Kaleidoscope; and features prominently in our seasonal amber ale Citra and Rye, our India pale ale Sundance, and our light pale ale Small Beer. Over our many years of working with Citra, we’ve perfected our approach to this hop, learning how to extract the best from it through the way that we pair it with carefully selected malts, yeast and water, and combine it with other varietals to make a complex, well-rounded orchestra of flavour.
Sometimes, though, a new hop bursts onto the scene, shaking up breweries across the world and injecting us all with a healthy dose of excitement - along with a keen desire to get to work creating something new. One such variety was Sabro, a richly aromatic specimen that was first released by the same talented team behind Citra, the Hop Breeding Company, back in 2018. It instantly took the beer world by storm thanks to its enticing bouquet of coconut, tropical fruits and citrus oils. We’re not talking synthetic, artificial flavours here; these are instantly distinguishable aromas and tastes that really shine through right from when you open a bag of Sabro to when you take that first sip of the finished beer.
Wiper and True’s first dabble with Sabro hops came in the form of Dark and Stormy, our collaboration with Earth station last summer. A smooth 5.8% India pale ale, this beer was inspired by the historical imports of sugar, spices and rum into London’s Tobacco Docks, and was designed to convey the flavour profile of its namesake cocktail. Alongside six kilos of fresh ginger, the Sabro hops delivered a serious kick of coconut and lime flavour, which combined with rum soaked raisins into one truly fabulous beer. The public’s positive verdict on the beer was overwhelming, and our brew team were well and truly bitten by the Sabro bug.
Fast forward to early 2020, and the Wiper and True brew team pitched a new collection of beers: Hop Garden Series. The idea? To create an array of beers that celebrate the flavour profiles of their favourite hops; the ones that as brewers they are truly delighted to work with, and can’t wait to share with you. The first candidate for this star treatment was a no-brainer: we were desperate to make a beer that was all about Sabro. This is by no means revolutionary; breweries across the world have been going to town on single-hopped Sabro beers - and rightly so. This is a variety that has so much going for it!
The first in our brand new Hop Garden Series, which we’ll release sequentially over the coming months, Sabro is our take on the maverick hop. Every element of the recipe has been carefully selected to foreground the vibrant, complex flavours of the hop. We’ve used a Norwegien Kveik yeast strain, well known for its ability to bring out the most from the hops it’s paired with. On the malt front, we opted for a low colour Golden Promise grain. This was a new ingredient for us, but we found its simplicity was a great match for the vivaciousness of Sabro. Finally, a generous serving of torrified wheat in the mash helped us to retain a perfectly foamed head on the beer; essential, since a good foam and retention in a beer will preserve those alluring aromas. The finished beer has come out of the tank bursting with notes of pineapple, lime and coconut, and when you take that first sniff ‘n’ sip, you’re smacked around the chops with the full force of the Sabro aroma.
So, without further ado, it gives us great pleasure to announce that from 7pm this evening, cases of Sabro will be available for order from our web shop. Our founder, Michael Wiper, will be sharing his tasting notes for the beer at 5pm this Thursday, so be sure to place your orders early for delivery ahead of that. See you in coconut paradise…
PS: in case you didn’t believe us about the beauty of Sabro’s aroma, please enjoy this photo of our brewer Fearghal with a gigantic grin on his face as he added the hops to the kettle…