Hops, by GregPC on Flickr.

Today is the first day of Hopstock, a celebration of the Nelson Hop harvest.

In what seems just a little bit like some craft beer version of the Beaujolais Nouveau madness, for a very short time twelve bars around town will be showcasing eight new beers brewed with fresh (rather than the usual dried) hops. This means that we should be treated to some even more zingy flavours and interesting aromas.

And, in a blatant attempt to encourage you to sample them all, there will be a trail card available. Try all eight beers, get your card stamped, and go into the draw to win some quite good prizes. OK, so you should probably spread this out over two or three nights at least – Hopstock runs until Friday so you’ve got some time.

Of course, you don’t have to try all of them. If you had to choose one or two: maybe the Tuatara Conehead, which last year was very nice; and we’re also quite keen to try the two Townshend/Liberty collaboration brews. Between Martin Townshend’s superb fully-flavoured older school style and Liberty’s hop-driven craft style there should be a pint or two worth savouring. But if you can’t decide: just pick one at random, drink slowly, and taste. It’s an experience.

(Also: apologies to any French speakers out there for butchering your lovely language. But hopefully you get where we were going with this.)