If you are a regular reader of 'A Swift One' you may remember a post on the 20th September regarding the harvesting of Yorkshire hops from a farm in North Humberside that Dave Litton was fortunate enough to visit on harvesting day. I have been trying to hunt out the beers brewed from the hops to see what they actually tasted like. The beers being brewed with the whole green hops within days of harvesting. I have eventually managed it.
The first beer I came across was Saltaire's 'Sovereign Harvest'. This is a 4.8% beer, and is light coloured. It certainly looked the part in the glass but the proof would be in the tasting. I was impressed. It was not a beer with a massive hop hit (but Saltaire beers rarely are, preferring the more subtle approach) but well rounded and the strength seemed to help with the hop taste which was certainly fresh tasting and had a slightly oily feel on the tongue though not in an unpleasant way. But as always I needed another beer to compare it with.
I managed that yesterday when I finally hunted down The Rat Brewery's 'Yorkshire Rat'. This was 4.0% and again a light coloured beer which was served crystal clear. I was amazed how close the flavour was to the Saltaire beer. The fresh, green taste was there, again more subtle than aggressive but again a well crafted beer.
If this small sample of beers showcases what Yorkshire hops taste like after just one year of production then I feel the future looks bright for them. I can hardly wait for next years crop to compare and contrast again