By James Atkinson

Carlton & United Breweries has revealed that Cascade Bright Ale is its most successful draught craft beer release in years. 

Speaking at the Cascade First Harvest Ale festivities in Tasmania, head brewer Mike Unsworth said the subdued bitterness of Bright Ale – launched six months ago – had won excellent feedback from consumers – particularly women. 

“We’ve got three different types of hops in the Bright Ale, but it’s not overly bitter. What you are actually getting is some really good aromas and flavours,” he said. 

Craig Maclean, CUB’s general manager of craft beer and cider, added: “Just to let everybody know just how well it’s going sales-wise, six months from launch, Bright Ale’s actually our most successful craft draught launch since Fat Yak.” 

First Harvest’s longevity on show

The 2014 hop harvest – which will culminate in the 13th vintage of Cascade First Harvest Ale – took place last week in Tasmania, with hops picked fresh and added to the brewing kettle shortly after.

First Harvest continues to play an integral role in testing new hops from Hop Products Australia’s breeding program at Bushy Park Estates.

This year’s First Harvest hops are named by Unsworth after the roads that lead from the hop fields to the Cascade Brewery – Argyle for flavour, Brooker for aroma and Macquarie for bitterness. 

“We’re expecting this year’s First Harvest to have a prominent leafy aroma and a spicy citrus finish,” he said.

Unsworth (pictured below) led media and trade through a tutored tasting of the last five vintages of Cascade First Harvest Ale, which all stood up remarkably well for relatively low alcohol beers (5.5 per cent ABV). [continues below]

“The green hops that we put in there seem to protect the beer,” Unsworth said. “They’ve got more polyphenols, which tend to help the ageing process a bit.”

Cascade First Harvest Ale will be available from May 15 at Dan Murphy’s nationally. It can also be found on tap in a handful of selected venues in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. RRP: $19.95 per 375ml four-­pack.  

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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