It’s not every day that an Australian hop grower releases a new proprietary hop variety.
As such, the commercialisation of Eclipse by Hop Products Australia (HPA) is a momentous occasion for the Australian craft beer sector.
A new flavour hop “bursting with sweet mandarin, zesty citrus peel, and fresh pine needles”, Eclipse was first developed by HPA’s hop breeding program in 2004.
However, its ancestry can be traced as far back as 1915, with subsequent generations of cross pollination featuring varieties such as Fuggle, Brewer’s Gold, Comet and Pride of Ringwood.
To celebrate the commercialisation of Eclipse, HPA teamed up with Beer Cartel and local breweries to produce a special mixed pack of beers.
Priced at $79.99, it includes 12 beers hopped with Eclipse from breweries including Drinks Adventures podcast alumni Mountain Culture, along with Blasta, Deeds, Hop Nation, Moo Brew, Mr Banks, Newstead and Two Birds.
“Since Eclipse sits firmly in the fruit quadrant of HPA’s hop Flavour Spectrum it is well suited to fruit-forward beer styles, so you can expect a bit of everything from high impact hazy NEIPAs to lighter well-balanced IPAs,” HPA says.
Given the high profile launch, HPA appears bullish on the potential for Eclipse. Its astronomically-themed moniker appears to draw a correlation with the Galaxy hop, HPA’s most popular variety that is renowned for its vibrant tropical characters.
As previously explored on Drinks Adventures, the Galaxy hop was integral to the success of the most influential Australian craft beer of the last decade, Stone & Wood Pacific Ale.
It has since turned into a global smash hit for HPA, featuring in beers produced by craft beer heavyweights such as Beavertown, Treehouse and Trillium.
I took eskies full of Stone & Wood Pacific Ale with me to Europe to showcase Galaxy. And, to this day it remains one of the very few beers in the world that you can take into a hop garden and grab a fresh Galaxy cone off a mature hop plant, rub it, smell it and then open a Stone & Wood beer and have a drink and people just get it. It reflects Galaxy really, really well.Tim Lord, Managing Director, HPA
Time will tell whether Eclipse enjoys the same traction as Galaxy, which underpinned HPA’s $35 million investment in developing 300 additional hectares of its hops at a new site in Buffalo River Valley, Victoria
Eclipse is currently only available in commercial quantities in Australia, but it will start to reach the rest of the world in commercial quantities from crop 2021.
You can buy the HPA Eclipse Mixed 12-Pack from Beer Cartel here.