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First Tassy Hop Harvest

Tasmania. The Apple Isle. Van Diemen’s Land. Little Australia. Boonyville. Tanzania. Devil Country. Its map is said to look like genetalia and it’s got more names than Adam ‘the other brother’ Mitchell has had roles at 4 Pines. It also has hops. And where there’s hops, we want to be there!

At the core of our travels was the local Hop Harvest which is currently in full swing. But thanks to a series of hook ups from Hobart local Joe ‘the hat’ Krambo, we managed to get involved in an extraordinary amount of Tassie’s local produce and entertainment during our 3 day stay. TweedsSarah and Winn didn’t waste any time getting started.

Day one was a stop in at the Birilla Bay oyster farms and their world-famous-in-China abalone headquarters. The oysters were so good that even Rich managed to eat three of them despite his weak gag reflex. The oyster stout was good too – that’s right, a beer brewed by literally throwing oysters into the boil.

Later in the afternoon we hit Lark Distillery, the first distillery in Australia to produce single malt whiskey. Their Distiller gave us an incredible behind the scenes tour and tasting. We were so hyped that when we caught two taxis out of there we’d failed to notice that Winn was still in the bathroom. He eventually managed to find us back in town drinking 4 Pines Summer Ales and eating dinner at the Republic bar with lots of Tassie beef on the menu. A “buddy system” was put in place to prevent future lost person reports.

Day 2 was all about wandering the beautiful hop fields about an hour inland up the Derwent river valley. The apple harvest was also in full swing, but once we reached Bushy Park the aromas were unmistakable. All the plump Galaxy hops were ready to be harvested the following week. And within a few months we should be tasting these bad boys in our Summer Ale.

In the sheds, they were drying and bailing up Enigma, another of the famous bespoke varietals that Hop Products Australia (HPA) has become famous for. It’s a little known fact that hops are very closely related to the Marjuana plant.

On the way home head brewer Dave and the team at Moo Brew invited us in for a few of their fresh Single Hop tinnies. They’d just completed a wet hop beer with some of the freshly harvested Enigma. Everyone made it back to the bus. The buddy system had worked.

The evening became a bit of a blur after that, but there were some Dark and Stormys with Fidge featuring our Brooky Union ginger beer, Sarah busting out an old high school dance routine to the tune of ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ and Tweeds beat-boxing in the street to the rhymes of a local hip hop talent. 

And that was it. A brilliant week with a brilliant crew of people.