Southern Tablelands grown hops feature in local brew

Hops cultivated at Lost River will be used in a locally brewed ale.

Brewer Evan Marler of Laggan Brewing Company will use the hops in a pale ale, ‘Lost Laggan’. The flower buds in hop plants give beer different flavours and aromas.

Brewer Evan Marler with a sample of Cascade hops from Lost River. Photo: Clare McCabe

Brewer Evan Marler with a sample of Cascade hops from Lost River. Photo: Clare McCabe

The hops were part of a trial batch for Courtney and Dan Haywood Whipp. “We [the Southern Tablelands] are just outside the known district for commercial hop production,” Mrs Haywood Whipp said.

“Certain latitudes are ideal for growing crops, just south, around Batlow and down to Tasmania. The daylight length, as opposed to the chill, governs the success of the plant.

“I had brought five varieties from a place in Victoria and 200 rhizomes from Batlow."

The hops were fertilised with a organic high-nitrogen fertiliser through irrigation and pellets, this progressed to the installation of infrastructure and bore water to irrigate the crops.

The first season produced almost 5.5 kilograms of hop cones and just over 200 plants of varieties: Fuggle, East Kent Golding, Pride of Ringwood, and Cascade which was “prolific”.

Mr Marler, brewer at the Laggan Brewing Company has installed a nano- or micro-brewery, and plans for a tasting room to open.

The brewhouse has four core beers, with speciality one-off brews. “I’ve got a two vessel system which pumps out 400 litres per day," Mr Marler said.

The brewery will use Cascade hops, along with Voyager malts from farms in Southern NSW. “I propagate my own yeast... It’s the simplest science of all.” While the water derives at Laggan, it is a "100 per cent local ale".

A successful trial of hops was grown at Lost River. Photo: Courtney Haywood-Whipp

A successful trial of hops was grown at Lost River. Photo: Courtney Haywood-Whipp