New Zealand’s population is smaller than the state of Colorado, but country’s exports have had an outsized impact on craft beer over the past decade. From hops such as Nelson Sauvin, Motueka, and Riwaka, to the cutting-edge thiol-optimized Phantasm powder, New Zealand has made undeniable contributions to the flavor evolution of American IPA over the past decade.
Jos Ruffell, cofounder of the Wellington-based Garage Project, has had a front seat for his country’s evolution from craft beer follower to craft beer influencer. An avowed geek whose pivotal beer experience involved Pliny the Elder, Ruffell and partner Pete Gillespie founded the brewery with Pete’s brother Ian in 2011. Their goal was to tap into the creative energy they felt from influential independent breweries half a world away.
Today, they’ve become creative drivers, pushing exploration with their local hops, developing new ways of creating signature Southern Hemisphere thiol-driven flavors, and embracing dramatic service strategies in public-facing events.
In this episode, cofounder Jos Ruffell discusses:
- engaging with ingredients as any chef or brewer should
- bringing transformational growth to the NZ hop industry through the Hāpi Research center
- using less glamorous but incredibly important supporting hops in blends
- maximizing for thiols using a variety of brewing techniques
- thiol stability and expression in fermentation
- phantasm powder and the variety of ways to use it in the brewing process
- the entourage effect between thiols and terpenes
- the outsized impact of thiol optimization in combination with other hops
- considering texture and time in beer flavor experience
This episode is brought to you by:
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Support for this episode comes from Hop Solutions by BSG. The Hop Solutions portfolio is a joint effort between the brewers, hop specialists, and brewing scientists of BSG and the Rahr Technical Center that takes a flavor-first, application-specific approach to hops. Whether you’re seeking biotransformation in a juicy IPA or dialing in a classic West Coast profile, BSG has a Hop Solution for that. Get in touch with the hop nerds at BSG by emailing [email protected] for samples, spots, and contracts.
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