By Donavan Hall, Beer Columnist
It’s happening again: DEKS American Restaurant in Rocky Point is having another cask night.
This time there will be an entire firkin (that’s a little more than 10 gallons) of a special edition from the York Brewery in England. York Brewery has been experimenting with different varieties of hops and has been releasing ales that use only a single variety. The advantage of this for the person interested in developing their beer tasting skills is that single hop beers make it possible to focus on the flavor coming from only that one hop. The hop variety that we’ll be studying on Friday is called Saaz.
Saaz is a hop that originally comes from the region that is now the Czech Republic. This hop is responsible for the characteristic flavor of Bohemian Pilsners (most notably Pilsner Urquell). Saaz is often described as floral and/or grassy. Personally, I associate the aroma with crisp spiciness, so typically, when I brew with this hop, I’m looking for it to deliver an edge to the aroma and flavor that contrasts with the round, maltiness of the grain. Saaz is one of the four noble hops whose characteristic is a restrained (or delicate) bitterness and pronounced aroma.
I’ve never tasted York Brewery’s experiment with Saaz hops, but it will be interesting to see what they are able to bring out of this hop. Hope to see you there. The firkin will be tapped at 6 pm and pints will be served until the firkin runs dry.