Burlington, Ontario – Savour the late-summer hop harvest with Nickel Brook Brewery’s latest seasonal release. Wet Hop Ontario Pale Ale is on shelves of select LCBOs.
“To retain maximum freshness, we harvested hops from local farms, brewing the beer the very same day they were picked,” says Nickel Brook Brewmaster Ryan Morrow. “If you love hops, you’ll want to drink Wet Hop Ontario Pale Ale while it’s fresh, and the flavour is at its peak.”
Wet Hop Ontario Pale Ale is a nod to traditional North American Pale Ales. However, it’s a unique beer in that its prime ingredients, malt and hops, are produced exclusively in Ontario. Moreover, because the hops are handpicked at the height of freshness, and are unprocessed when cast into the brew, the beer boasts a distinct flavour profile.
“Unlike our flagship hop bomb, Headstock India Pale Ale, the Wet Hop Ontario Pale Ale is nuanced and delicate,” says Morrow. “The result is an aroma and taste that’s reminiscent of summer, with the hops lending to floral, citrus and subtle spice notes. These are balanced with a slight malt sweetness, allowing for maximum drinkability.”
Two hop varieties were used in the making of the Wet Hop Ontario Pale Ale, the primary being the elusive Bertwell. Bertwell hops are believed to be the province’s only indigenous variety. Ontario isn’t a hop-growing region, making Bertwells a unique freak of nature.
Bertwells are believed to be of British origin, and are thought to have been abandoned by early settlers, giving the hop decades to adapt to Ontario’s terroir, and to thrive in its climate. A small vine of Bertwells was said to have sprouted in a Prince Edward County ditch. Local farmers, who want to see the hop flourish, have since revived the species.
Local Chinook hops, which are widely grown in the U.S., were also added to the Wet Hop Ontario Pale Ale, and complement their Northern counterparts. Chinooks impart refreshingly piney and herbal notes.
The Wet Hop Ontario Pale Ale contains 5.3 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV). It can be found in limited supplies at the LCBO, as well as the Burlington-based brewery’s retail store. The cost is $7.95 per 750ml bottle.