Barossa Valley Brewing Wet Dry NEIPA

A dual NEIPA experimental release from Barossa Valley Brewing

It’s not quite as simple as WET v DRY – lets jump into a little bit of background.

Technically WET v DRY is not the comparison we are looking at here as both these terms are not mutually exclusive. ‘Wet’ referring to the state of the hops when they are added to the beer and ‘Dry’ referring to the time in which they are added to the beer in the brewing process. Hops, when they come off the bine at this time of the year, look like little green flowers. You’ve no doubt seen illustrated versions of them on most traditional brewery logos. When hops in this state are added to the beer, that is referred to as ‘Wet’ or ‘Fresh’ hopping. These beers tend to come across a little greener and subtle or nuanced in their flavour profile when compared to the dried out pelletised versions that are used throughout the rest of the year at most breweries. Dry hopping a beer is when hops (sometimes quite a lot) are added during the cooler side of the brewing process and through part of the fermentation stage. Hops added at this stage pronounce flavour and aroma rather than bitterness drawn out when they are added during the boil. So it doesn’t sound quite as elegant but what we are looking at here is Wet V Pelletised hops in a battle of otherwise identically brewed New England IPA’s.

I’ve personally been looking forward to trying out this experiment from Barossa Valley Brewing when I caught wind of it happening on social media. Graild is all about getting more people interested in what they are drinking, why it is done that way and the flavours which different techniques can display. Meaning experiments like this which can be accessed by the public are such a great way to get people engaged. Barossa Valley Brewing are also selling these in mixed four packs meaning that you get to make the comparisons without having to make the choice. The wet hop Cascade component is provided by local legends Hills Hops from the Adelaide Hills and thrown in the beer merely hours after being picked. The ‘Dry’ is all the way from the US.


I’ve had many wet hop beers in the past and they all generally appear a little thinner than the beers created with pelletised hops. More of a resinous piney zing to the flavour profile which in some cases can overtake the rest of the beer. This example from Barossa Valley Brewing is delicious, tropical fruits dominate with pineapple and grapefruit being most prominent. The aroma is quite glorious. Don’t get me wrong, this is still very much a wet/ fresh hop beer but it feels a little more balanced than many I’ve had in the past, perhaps due to the bigger thicker malt backbone of the style. It has that profile that you occasionally get with lower ABV IPA’s where some components of the hop flavour (spice/ earthiness) come across a little more stringently than others.

DRY HOP (dried, pelletised)

Moving over to the dried hops beer and as you would expect the aroma presents quite similarly. Tropical fruits shrouded by a dank spice. That very typical Cascade profile continues well onto the palate. Frequent craft beer drinkers will know this flavour well with Cascade being a very common hop variety. This version seems more well rounded and has me questioning whether that is a result of me being more well acquainted with this style or that it is indeed more balanced. The spice is there but feels capped in comparison, the pine much the same.

Both beers are excellent. Behind the obvious draw card of the hop comparison, the beers themselves are very nicely put together. Incredibly drinkable and definitely worthy follow up beers to the Mosaic NEIPA which preceded them. Barossa Valley have brewed a couple of beers here which really give you a nice comparison of the different methods of hop application. If you have some interest in brewing, hops or just different styles of craft been in general, then you will definitely get a kick out of these beers.

These samples were provided by Barossa Valley Brewing. Thanks to the team for providing them to us early.

Graild is dedicated to showcasing the best in drinks from all styles. Recommendations and suggested options with a desire to drink different.



april, 2021