Tuatara stops at nothing when it comes to acquiring fresh harvested hops
The Motueka hop harvest is one of the most anticipated events on the craft beer calendar and Tuatara Brewing Co. take their responsibility to bring the green hop to the people very seriously.
Over the last couple of years they’ve hired a plane to ensure the freshest of hops make it back for brewing. This year it was a haul at first light and a close call Strait ferry crossing for the iconic Tuatara "landy" (pictured below, right), back to New Zealand’s craft capital. This year’s brew includes both Nelson Sauvin and Riwaka hops, necessitating two carefully timed missions to meet each variety's harvest dates.
The arrival back at the brewery has reached ritualistic proportions for the crew, who hang around to see, smell and, in some cases, bathe with these sources of sensory overload. “It’s impossible to describe the impact of such a small, seemingly innocuous cone,” says Tuatara hospo honcho Corey Taylor. “The smell is intense – piney, resinous, citrusy – the vibrancy of the green, and they feel quite delicate. Times that by a few sacks-full and the result is pretty amazing.”
This year’s fresh hop offering is Vastafarian Green Hop IPA, named after Tuatara founder and master brewer Carl Vasta. Carl has been creating hop harvest brews since 2011 when these beers were in their infancy.
Vastafarian will be available on tap and in 500ml bottles around the country soon for your enjoyment, so hop to it.