Just before Christmas 4 Pines announced their intention to develop 4 beers that enables imbibers to experience and compare different hop varities. On the 9th of January, all 4 beers were launched. The beers had the same base ingredients with the exception of a single hop variety being used in each one. 4 continents contributed with Amarillo from the US, Galaxy from Australia, Aramis from France and Sorachi Ace from Japan. The drinkers have fun, learn a little and the brewers get to understand what the customers prefer.
On the evening I visited 4 Pines, I was delighted to see the Socceroos coach Holger Osieck blowing the froth off a couple with his Frau. I think Holger’s been an awesome selection by the FFA. The team plays exciting footy, he gets results and the Socceroos have made a great start on the road to Brazil in 2014. I told him so, and his reaction was humourous and modest. Seems like a genuinely nice guy and I hope he continues to get the results. That’s him behind the Amarillo.
The 4 beers were all distinctly different. The Amarillo had a really unique cloudy appearance, the Galaxy was quite coppery, whilst the Aramis was quite light. From a personal perspective (and I’ve discussed this with Illiards), I ranked the Amarillo first, then Aramis, Galaxy, and Sorachi Ace. None were bad by any stretch – but the combination of the visual beauty and Pale Ale flavours made the Amarillo the winner for me. The Sorachi Ace travelled well in the 4 Pines Growler (gees that’s a good invention) and all 4 could make a re-appearance and I wouldn’t be unhappy.
Hats off the 4 Pines for this innovation, but it looks like this is an emerging trend. The Marstons Beer Company of the UK is introducing one new single hop beer each month. The Galaxy hop from Australia features in February, but the Kiwis have 3 varieties represented.