Jack Black has announced the launch of their first limited-edition release of 2024: the Fresh Hop IPA. This is a beer Jack Black eagerly anticipates brewing each year, and it’s a true passion project for its brewers. Crafted in small, limited batches, this session IPA bursts with late addition hop freshness, flavour, and aroma, backed by a perfectly integrated malt backbone. Get ready to experience the epitome of hoppy perfection—it’s all about the fresh hops, period.

Available exclusively during the hop harvest window, the Fresh Hop IPA is a brew that embodies the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship. Sourced on the same day as the harvest at the Hop Farms in George, these hops deliver an explosion of flavour unlike any other. While the aroma profile typically boasts passion fruit, melon, litchi, and guava notes, the use of fresh cone hops introduces exciting undertones of fresh cut grass, summer rain, and earthy tones. 

“Working with fresh hops is tough—the exact amount of alpha acids is unpredictable, and the whole cones contain a lot of vegetative matter, which takes up significant space and potentially blocks transfer lines and heat exchangers.” 

Ryan Behnken, Shift Lead Brewer at Jack Black, shares insights into the brewing process behind this exceptional beer,

“We incorporate hops at various stages—a small amount in the lauter tun, although this addition is mostly ceremonial. We add some hops in the kettle for bittering, with the bulk added in the whirlpool. Our final addition occurs through a hop back during transfer to the fermenters, maximising aroma and flavour extraction. We really try to maximise flavour and aroma extraction through these late additions.”

This year, Jack Black used Simcoe (citrus and earthy notes), Centennial (floral and earthy notes), and Cryo Citra (tropical and citrus characteristics). The fresh hops add a characteristic mouthfeel and flavour profile that is not replicable with standard pelletised hops. 

“This version has a higher level of attenuation, making it crisp and dryer. The hops were the star of the show, and we knew we were on to something.

Ryan adds,

Additional information on this year’s release:

  • Case RSP: R650
  • Alc./Vol.: 5.1%
  • IBUs: 43

The Fresh Hop IPA is now available for purchase online, via email at info@jackblackbeer.com or on 021 4474 151. For the full list of stockists in Cape Town, Gauteng, and the Eastern Cape, click here. To keep up with Jack Black‘s limited-edition releases, follow them on Instagram or Facebook.