The Monk’s first Hop Harvest Dinner in celebration of their first wet hop beer, featuring wet hops from Albany and paired with food made with and inspired by the same hops
Last month I visited Karridale Cottages and Hop Farm, and I was like a kid in a candy store, and I wrote about it for The Crafty Pint.
But Karridale is not the only place you’ll find hops in the south west, the Hops West farm can be found in Albany near the Kalgan River. Certainly not new hop kids on the block, their farm has developed in WA over the last ten years where they grow over 20 varieties.
Last month Matt and Mitch, operations manager and head chef respectively at the Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen, took an epic day trip to Albany to harvest fresh hops and return with their bounty to use in the brewery.
Matt and Mitch picked hops for three hours and returned to the brewery with more than eight kilos of hop goodness. The hops were to feature in five beers for the Monk’s first Hop Harvest Dinner, held last week, and also in all the food paired to each beer.
Event: Hop Harvest Dinner
Where: The Monk Craft Brewery Kitchen
Date: Thursday 24th March
Monk Common Ale featuring Kracanup wet hops. Kracanup is a hybrid style of Cascade and Chinook.
Paired with …
Chicken Crackle, Pancetta, Lardo with House Pickle, Hop Smoked Deviled Egg and Nasu Dengaku.
This was a heck of a way to kick off the dinner, an absolutely gorgeous pairing of big passionfruit and lime driven flavours in the Common Ale and it matched in wonderfully different ways with each element of the dish.
“There’s more fat than meat so, you know, the perfect amount,”
Head Chef Mitch on the pancetta
Monk Seasonal – Autumn Red Ale featuring Red Earth wet hops.
Paired with …
WA Carrots and Hop Leaf Emulsion.
You’ve never had carrots so damn good, pickle, roasted and if you were to turn vegetarian based on this dish no one would blame you.
Monk Wet Hop Ale – an American Pale Ale base using whole hops throughout the brew and absolutely no hop pellets. Brewers Mal and Rhys used three varieties, Kracanup, Challenger and Flinders at various stages over two days of brewing but they were largely unsure of what effect the hops would have on the final product having no specifications or measurements on the hops.
“It was a beautiful blank canvas,”
Head Brewer Mal on the hop varities
The result was a beer with a hop profile that is “very elegant” says Mal.
Paired with …
Poached Jindong Pork Lion and Zucchini
Monk Extra IPA featuring Challenger and Kracanup wet hops and served through a firkin at the table.
Described enthusiastically by brewer Rhys as being the “dankest offering”, the beer had the longest contact time with the hops with hops literally shoved into the firkin so that the beer was hopped from tank to glass.
21 day aged Macabee Dorper Mutton and Cauliflower
Macabee Dorper Lamb can be found on Baillee Farm in the Avon Valley. They use sustainable farming practices and head chef Mitch was more than a little excited to be working Macabee Dorper Lamb. The dish featured belly and rack with Mitch saying, “this is something I am very proud to serve.” Anthea Brown from Macabee Dorper Lamb was also at the dinner and was equally appreciative, “it’s great to work with people like Mitch and Sam who appreciate meat with some fat on it.”
Monk Speciality – Belgian Speciality Ale, a blend of sour brown ale and Belgian Quad that spent six months in red wine barrels with brettanomyces.
Paired with …
Custom made wheel of ‘Hopped Up’ Vintage Ale Cheddar Cheese. Anyone who has had Mitch’s cheese before will know it’s absolutely killer. This version used the Monk’s own Vintage Ale with hop leaf thrown in too.
Big thanks to Matt, Mitch, Sam and the whole team at The Monk for inviting me along to a great night! Already looking forward to next years! Extra special shout out to Mitch, this dinner marked this last night at The Monk, and wish him all the best for the next food adventure!