An ancient recipe for a modern market: Cascade First Harvest made with fresh hops

March 31, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Cascade First Harvest is made using some of the season’s first hops picked just hours earlier from Hop Products Australia’s farm, Bushy Park Estates outside Hobart.

First Harvest is a sign of the times: beer drinkers around Australia are increasingly interested in the stories behind their beers. 

Its a partnership that brings Cascade Brewery, Asahi Beverages and Tasmanian farmers together again as First Harvest is re-launched, having originally been brewed in the early 2000s.

Hops are like the spice of beer, giving it bitterness and aroma while balancing the sweetness of the malt. 

Cascade Brewery plant manager Jesse Cartwright said:

“Beer is usually brewed with dried hop pellets for consistency and the ability to brew all year round. Using fresh hops is an ancient method and creates a herbaceous and particularly vibrant beer with woody, piney and floral characters. We think people will love the taste, particularly as it’s the first-time fresh Cascade and Enigma hops have ever been used together in a Cascade beer to create a truly one-of-akind drop.

“Cascade was perhaps a bit ahead of its time when we launched a similar beer nearly two decades ago. But the growing interest among Tasmanian drinkers in the provenance of beer and different tastes means we think the time is now right to again launch this amazing beer.”

This year’s First Harvest is a well-balanced IPA with fresh hop characters complemented by biscuity malt character and a crisp ale yeast. It was brewed under the watch of HPA’s farmers because of the unique characteristics of fresh hops, making it a collaborative brew.

It is only available in Tasmania with just 350 kegs brewed as part of a trial, which if successful could become an annual event and see kegs of First Harvest exported to the mainland.  

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