The Elusive Enigma Hop, and an Ode to the Great British Pub
Back in April we launched the first beer in our Hop Garden Series; a selection of Pale Ales brewed to showcase hops that we found intriguing, enticing and challenging. Beginning with a single-hopped Sabro beer, we worked our way through Idaho 7 and Loral, Ekuanot, and most recently Citra.
For the latest addition to this series we brewed a single-hopped Pale Ale with the intriguing strain known as Enigma. First gaining notoriety in 2013, this unique Tasmanian hop earned its mysterious and alluring name due to the varying flavours it produces when introduced to different worts - the liquor made through heating malts and water, which forms the basis of any beer.
Keen to ensure that the wort we made would interact beautifully with Enigma hops, we worked hard on the other two cornerstones of the recipe, hoping to crack the code.
For the malt bill we opted for Golden Promise, a barley that’s widely regarded as one of the very best bases for hop-forward beers. In this case, it provides a sweet biscuity body which elevates hop character while simultaneously maintaining a crisp and balanced finish.
Our yeast selection is an homage to our fondness of classic British cask beer, and a tip of our hats to proper, old school pubs. Before the current social restrictions, on a Thursday evening you’d typically find the Wiper and True production team down at our local in St Werburghs, the Miner’s Arms, enjoying a good pint of local cask. In honour of that, we’ve opted for an S04; a traditional English cask yeast, often harvested and re-cultivated from casks from old breweries. The strain we’ve used in this beer is subtle, giving the beer some of those ester notes of pear and stone fruit that we love so much in cask beers. Seen by many as a modest yeast with no particular bells or whistles, what we really love about this variety is that it allows the hop to shine through. Perhaps more importantly, though, is that it also allows us to reminisce back to the simpler, blissful times of having a few pints after work at the pub.
In the end, we’re really happy with how our experimentations with Enigma have turned out. The finished beer is delicious, with distinguished spiced fruit aromatics and a vibrant pinot gris taste.
You can order Hop Garden Series No. 05: Enigma from our online shop now (for Bristol and nationwide delivery), in full cases or in a juicy mixed case of Pale Ales. It will be available to buy in shops across Bristol from 10.11.2020.