When it comes to Guinness, the first thing that comes to mind is the kawaida dark Guinness that only older guys would take during the weekends. But Hop House 13, a product of Guinness, is not like what you’re used to.
With a golden amber colour, the Guinness Hop House Lager has a golden colour with a very light aroma, that’s very flavorful, crisp and refreshing. Trust me, I’ve had a taste and it’s nothing I expected.
This is exactly what Jasmin Winterer told me as I spoke to her about the new lager that’s set to hit the Kenyan market at a time when everyone is scrambling for a piece of the pie. So what makes it so special? I talk to Jasmin to find out more:
Originally from Germany, Jasmin grew up in one of the world’s most diverse / interesting beer markets and wanted to be a brewer from a very young age. She explains that it started when she discovered yeast in biology. She became fascinated with how such a small organism could be involved in the process of brewing and it’s been uphill since then for her.
She joined Guinness in 2016 and one of her first roles was liquid development for Africa, Sri Lanka and Ireland. She spent some time as an innovation brewer, working across 13 different innovations in total. She now works as Pilot plant manager and Africa beer specialist and is currently beer liquid lead for projects in Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. Basically her work as she explains, contains a lot of craft, innovation, ingenuity and most of all, beer!
Why did Guinness decide to go on this path?
“The beer market is changing rapidly. When you talk of beer, you’re not just talking about lagers and stouts, there are so many variations and more to choose from depending on what you want. Kenya is especially one of the countries that’s most open to almost everything, be it ciders, ales or lagers and as Guinness, we are excited to bring Hop House 13 to the African market starting with Kenya and see how the Kenyan market will respond to it.”
Why is the Hop House different?
“First, it’s a lager. As you told me before, you’re used to seeing the iconic black beer that is Guinness, but this is a lager made by the brewers of Guinness.
Second, it’s been double hopped. [There are four basic ingredients to beer, malted barley, yeast and water. In the 15th century, they discovered hops, Hop plants are climbing vines that are used to give a beer bitterness when used early in the brewing process, and aroma when added at the end. The process of double hopping in this case gives it an array of flavour]
The difference is that most lagers are only hopped at one point but the Hop House 13 is double hopped (as explained above) to get more fruity notes like peach and apricot coming from the hops which gives a really nice refreshing smell of the beer. This lager also has some hints of malted barley and a special malt that’s called crystal malt that gives it a bit more biscuit-ness. So you have a full bodied multi beer that also gives refreshment from the hops.
The yeast is also different. We don’t use normal yeast, but Guinness yeast for the preparation. This Guinness yeast gives it more flavour and complexity.
As Guinness, we’re always doing more for customers. That’s why we’re Made of More and this is what we’re doing for our customers, giving more than the usual Guinness that most people are used to. We’re always striving to innovate and improve as we listen to what our customers want, which is why I’m sure that Kenyans will enjoy the new Hop House 13.
Also, if you say you don’t like beer, maybe you haven’t found the right beer yet. So keep looking, there’s so much to choose from 😉