Newlands Spring Brewing Company has released a limited edition, one-off batch of fresh hop IPA brewed in collaboration with Seattle-based Elysian Brewing Company. The beer, 10,000 miles, is named for the distance between the two breweries, which are both owned by AB InBev.
The idea for the collab began to germinate two years ago, when Elysian’s brewer Markus Stintson visited South Africa to check out the hop farms during harvest time. Soon afterwards he contacted Newlands Spring’s brewer Warren Wiese and they began to exchange ideas across the Atlantic.
The result has just been released in Cape Town – a 70-IBU IPA using a blend of US and SA hops. The American hops were shipped from Seattle – two blends, Veteran and Pink Boots, both of which contain five different hops. The Pink Boots Society, is an international non-profit organisation supporting women in the brewing profession, while the Veterans Blend supports US war veterans.The rest of the hop bill was made up of African Queen pellets and 50kg of Southern Passion, straight from the farm.
Warren, along with brand manager JP Britz, headed off to George to collect the freshly harvested hops. “We thought they were going to fit in the back of the car,” JP laughs. “We had no idea how much space 50kg of fresh hop cones takes up!” Once the hops – including were safely loaded, the team made for Cape Town as quickly a speed limits and cameras would allow, blasting the AC all the way. En route they called the brewing team – including Elysian’s brewer Markus – to tell them it was time to mash in.
On arrival at Newlands, the fresh hops were added to the lauter tun and team continued to brew into the night. It’s the first collab brew for Newlands Spring, but it’s clear that everyone involved had a blast and are all excited about possible future collab brews.
The one-off beer is being released in bottles this week and will be available in select stores, including Roeland Liquors, Norman Goodfellows and hopefully the Biggest Little Beer Shop.
So, what does it taste like? Well, considering the hop bill, I was a little disappointed with the aroma – I got fairly muted orange peel and stewed grapefruit notes when I tried it on tap from the brewery. It’s a big and juicy beer whose 6.5% ABV is fairly evident. There’s a distinct sweetness with each sip, but this is later followed by a solid and lingering bitter finish – a finish which intensifies with each sip. I didn’t pick up much of the tropical fruit notes usually associated with African Queen and Southern Passion, instead tasting a lot of citrus, specifically candied grapefruit and orange peel.
It’s a solid brew and it’s great to see Newlands Spring branching out a little – there’s clearly a lot of passion among the brewing and sales team there. Get in touch with Newlands Spring for a full list of stockists, grab a bottle and let me know what you think.