HOPE XPA

Origin – Australia. NSW.
ABV- 4.8%
Size- 330mL can
Style- American Pale Ale
Many were rightfully sceptical when Michael Hope purchased Hunter Valley’s Rothbury Estate in 2006, paying $9.2 million to owner Fosters, which was getting out of the wine game at the time, and laying down plans to build a live music destination and beer and wine Mecca. And it wasn’t long before 20,000 odd folks were sprawled out on the large grassy amphitheatre soaking up the sun and watching the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Bruce Springsteen, all the while drinking some pretty average wine and chugging down some relatively tasteless bright and clear pale ale out of plastic cups by the dozen. Mercifully it seems, for this former pharmacist and businessman, Hope was as much about building Michael’s dreams as cashing in on tourism. Enter stage left Matt Hogan. While no Mick Jagger of the craft brewing world, his stint as a winemaker for De Bortoli and experience as head brewer at William Bull (De Bortoli’s beer brewing arm) provided him with know-how beyond his years, and a creative winemaker’s approach to his brewing methods, mixing innovation with tradition. In 2013 Matt was thrown a second hand 12 hectolitre brewing system that had previously served Murray’s well, and set about the task of transforming a concert caterer pumping out mid-strength ales, to an award-winning brewery. And a transformation of seismic proportions it was. Within a few short years, Matt and the lads were standing in front of packed crowd of bearded hipsters receiving the coveted 2016 CBA Champion Small Brewery Award. As evidence that Hope wasn’t a Hanson -esque one-hit wonder (anyone remember MmmBop?), in 2017 they pick up another 8 CBA medals, including a bronze with this Extra Pale Ale. Filled into a can, the next freshest thing to getting it on tap either at the brewery in the heart of the Hunter Valley or their seaside Brewhouse Café in Nelson Bay, she pours bright, clear and amber. Luckily the appearance is the only aspect this XPA has in common with the former tasteless concert offerings. The nose itself is filled with tropical fruit, citrus and hints of toffee, and while the taste follows the nose, there’s the addition of a sweet malt backbone and punch of hop bitterness. With more character than your average pale ale, and much more sessional than most hard-hitting IPA’s, this XPA is perfect for chilling out on the green while listening to, say, Landslide by Stevie Nicks.

BOW cube142

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s