Having indulged their hophead tendancies with their Hop Bach brew – with 25 different hops – the guys at Red Duck were in intrigues by the Topaz hop they included in their brew. And so, Topaz a single hop, session Ale was born.

According to the brewers tt has moderate malt characters, and the hops are reminiscent of

classic English varieties such as East Kent Goldings. And despite it’s high alpha acids Red Duck reckon it is o goer in the aroma stakes – it is not a big, citrusy, resiny, pine needle, green grass or bubblegum hop, but rather it is soft and mellow without a lot of fruity characters either.

The notes on the brew say that the team used virtually no bittering hops, but a huge amount of hops in the steep for aroma, and then even more whole Topaz flowers in the hot wort infusion, while transferring and cooling. Apparently, the idea was to get maximum aroma, without too much bitterness – however, it still sits on an estimated 38 to 40 IBUs.

Topaz itself is a modern Australian bred cultivar – here is what HPA says about it: “Topaz was originally selected as a seedless high alpha acid hop for the production of extract, but recent work has shown it to have excellent flavour potential, to the point that a beer hopped solely with Topaz was the most preferred of a group of five single hop beers by tasters at Brau 2010. As a flavour addition Topaz can provide earthy notes similar in character to old English cultivars, and fruit flavour such as lychee can be detected in later additions and higher gravity brews.”

If you love your hops this is not to be missed.

For more info email info@northdown.com.au

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