.....when you have hops?
It will not have escaped the football follower that both Poland and the Czech Republic have bowed out of the European championships at an early stage, however the ardent hop follower will have seen both countries make a considerable leap forward this year in the varieties that they are producing. And true to a football theme (not!) two more new single hopped variety beers graced the bar at the Star yesterday.
Next to it on the bar was Glenworth 'Junga Rock' a 4.3% beer, again single hopped, this time with Polish 'Junga'. Primarily a bittering hop, from a combination of Northern Brewer and Marynka, it imparts a unique flavour to the beer. Not as bitter as I would have expected from a hop with 13% alpha acid content and again fresh tasting, it is another winner.
Maybe the central European hops do not have the universal appeal to the 'hop monster' that some of the American or Southern hemisphere ones have but the one's I have come across certainly make for some interesting beers. They do tend to be more subtle and possibly more suited to single hopped beers where their character and flavours come through than being used as a combination in a beer. I am certainly impressed with what Central Europe has to offer on the hop front. Who cares if they are not too cracky at football, their hops are a winner.
(PS - for the hop nerds amongst us, the picture is a Maryka hop!)