Monthly Archives: September, 2017

The 5 – 10 – 15 Rule for Dry Hopping IPAs

September 11th, 2017 Posted by BetterBrewingBetterBeer, Uncategorized 7 comments

Dry Hopping. 

If you don’t know what this means, in a nutshell, it’s where hops are added to the brew once it’s in the fermenter,  like a steeping process. Why do it? It maximises the hop aromas and flavours in your brew.

Luke is often asked for tips on how to dry hop beer, and he has a simple rule of thumb to follow: The 5 – 10 – 15 Rule. It’s a pretty simple thing to remember, right? This is what it means.

If you’re making a Pale Ale, add 5 grams of hops per litre.
For an IPA, add 10 grams per litre.
For a Double IPA, add 15 grams per litre.

Easy, right?

Something to keep in mind is that the more dry hop you add, the less your final volume will be – those hops are thirsty devils!

We’d love for you to give it a try – let us know how you get on.


2017 US Hop Harvest

September 11th, 2017 Posted by Hops, Uncategorized No Comment yet

The US Hop Harvest is a big deal for us. Luke has the privilege of heading to Yakima in Washington State every year to select hops from the year’s harvest. After visiting a bunch of different hop farms, meeting the growers and finding the best crops, Luke will make his selection at YCH Hops in Yakima. We’ll be documenting the highlights of this year’s trip here, so stay tuned!


Since I have been writing this blog about Luke’s travels in the US, there have been quite a few people asking where Yakima is – and rightly so.

Yakima, WA, USA

Yakima is about 200 km South-East of Seattle, Washington State.

Yakima could be called the “Home of US Hops”, and this is why (from

Washington state’s Yakima Valley is home to one of the most fertile and productive hop growing regions in the world. The hot and cool desert climate, combined with the abundant irrigation provided by the Yakima River, creates an ideal environment for producing this key beer ingredient.

The valley is divided into three distinct growing areas: the Moxee Valley, the Yakama Indian reservation and the Lower Yakima Valley. And each of these areas, although no more than 50 miles apart, possesses unique growing conditions.

The Yakima Valley contains approximately 75 percent of the total United States hop acreage, with an average farm size of 450 acres (182 hectares) accounting for over 77 percent of the total United States hop crop. Most hop farms in Washington are third or fourth generation family operations that have now diversified into other crops as well. Most hop growers also grow fruit, but some grow mint, grapes and even row crops. Typically, a Washington hop grower will raise a combination of both aroma and alpha variety hops. The majority of the hops produced in Washington, however, are alpha and super alpha varieties.

The Hop Fields at Carpenter Farms – Granger, WA.

Downtown Yakima, WA

This is where you’d expect to find a bunch of brewers at this time of year!

So, travelling all the way to Yakima every year is a big commitment. I asked Luke why he goes to all this effort every year, this is what he had to say:
“I love the aromas and flavours that come from the hops grown in the Yakima Valley. I love brewing with these hops, and love the beers that these hops make. This is why I make such an effort each year to fly to the other side of the Pacific Ocean, to find the best of what they have, and bring it back home to New Zealand to brew with.”





San Franciso

Luke is in San Francisco before heading off to Yakima tomorrow. His main objective: Find more hops to keep our beers, well, EPIC. No pressure, right?


Heading north over the Golden Gate Bridge


Off to find some sweet hops!

Luke’s chariot awaits…


Ed’s Top Five Hops

September 5th, 2017 Posted by Hops, Uncategorized 3 comments

If you haven’t already figured out, hops are a really important part of what we do at Epic. We love the flavours that hops give beer, and we put a lot of effort in selecting the right types of hops, as well as how we use them. Luke will be heading to Yakima soon to select our hops from the 2017 US Hop Harvest. Here’s a fun fact for you: Epic has used more aroma hops than any other brewery in NZ in the last ten years.

I had a chat with Ed Jefferies, Epic Production Manager, on the subject of hops. If we had the time, Ed could have talked about hops all day, but this would distract her from her (extremely important) job of making sure that our beers are produced. I don’t want to be held responsible for that, so I decided that I’d narrow the discussion down to her ‘Five Favourite Hops’.

 This is what she had to say about them.

Ed’s Top Five Hops

5. Amarillo
This is a tasty hop that gives beers a subtle but tasty flavour of stonefruit. If you’ve tried our Awakening Pils, the flavour of apricots and peaches sits perfectly with the crisp and refreshing bite from the bittering Chinook hops. 

4. Columbus
If you tried Rocket IPA from the Hysteria Series, you’ll know all about the huge ‘diesel’ hit that this hop gives (this description doesn’t really do it justice). Columbus also gives a subtle pepper aroma along with a slight liquorice flavour. This hop is powerful, resinous and offers a well-balanced bitterness. Like me, it doesn’t do subtle.

3. Nelson Sauvin
This beer drove our Dankomatic IPA back in 2016. This is such a big hop – the quintessential New Zealand aroma hop. It’s a great hop to use to balance out some of the huge US hops with a bit of homegrown flavour. This dank, resinous and grassy hop has featured in recent beers such as Big Bang Double IPA and Son of Thor IPA.

2. Citra
Citra is one of our most commonly used hops. As its name suggests, it offers a beer citrus-driven aromas and flavours, such as grapefruit, lime and even a bit of passionfruit.  The Citra hops really come through in Hysteria IPA where you get that awesome bitter kick, but the syrupy citrus aromatics drive it home.

1. Mosaic
Ah, Mosaic… I can’t stress how much I really, REALLY, love this hop. The beauty with Mosaic is that it can be blended with so many different hop styles and you can achieve very different results with each blend – it’s appropriately named, right?! This multi-dimensional hop has driven some of our most popular beers ever: One Trick Pony – Mosaic, plus the recent release, Magic Dust – which coincidently was our fastest selling beer ever. For Magic Dust IPA, we used Mosaic LupuLN2®, or Lupulin Powder, thus the name.

So, next time you enjoy an Epic beer, know that there’s been a lot of thought into how it has been made, what hops should be used to deliver the flavours that we love.


Static – Just Another IPA?

September 3rd, 2017 Posted by New Beer, Uncategorized 1 comment

We have released some absolutely cracking IPA’s so far this year. The
feedback has been truly overwhelming. We have decided to use this
feedback as inspiration for our latest beer, Static.

Static has a double meaning in this case. It refers to the constant noise
we receive from fans about our incredible beers, and also static means
to stay the same. The same as in making another amazingly hop
forward IPA.

This beer has been made by taking the best parts of MAGIC DUST and
HOP HARVESTER to create another beer that will be a massive hit
with fans of IPA’s. The hops that are showcased are Riwaka and
Mosaic. As you can imagine the delicious tropical fruit characters
will leave you wanting more.

Check out the URL to experience some of the
feedback that we enjoy. Did you know that every new Epic beer now
has its own URL going to a special link?

About the beer:
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.3%
IBU: 40


Launch: Thursday 7 September 2017 – Brew Union, Palmerston North
Launch into wild: Monday 11 September
Distribution: 🇳🇿🇦🇺 (Australia launch at Beer InCider in Brisbane)