Elgaar Cheddar, Home-made Tomato Chutney with Victory Hop Devil IPA

Kris: As you can see, our tomatoes have done really well this year. Two of our plants even grew over 2 metres tall!

Caroline: I’m very proud of our tomatoes.

Kris: Now we have so many tomatoes it’s time to start making chutney and passata. My favourite varietal that we have grown are the Black Russian’s.They are the tastiest tomatoes I have ever eaten. I decided to make some spicy tomato chutney to match with some aged cheddar and a Victory Hop Devil IPA.

Caroline: We grew a bunch of different heirloom varieties, but my favorite must be the Black Russians (Kris is a copycat). They don’t get super red when they’re ripe, more of a purpley-green. But MAN are they delicious. We’ve got more then we can eat each night.

Spicy Tomato Chutney

2 kg tomatoes

2 brown onions

3 tbs grape seed oil

1 cup raw sugar

2 tbs grated ginger

1 tsp tumeric

1 tbs chilli flakes

1 tbs garam masala

1 tbs smoked paprika

salt and pepper


Fry off the sliced onion on a medium heat

Add the sugar and spices 

Fry for a few more minutes

Add the tomatoes

Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened (at least 2 hours depending on desired thickness)

Season with some salt and pepper

Place into sterile jars

Allow to cool and store in a dark cupboard

Caroline: A quick note about sterilizing jars, heres how I do it:

Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water

Place jars and lids on a baking tray in an oven at 150 C (300 F) for at least 15 minutes 

Spoon chutney into jars while both the chutney and the jars are still HOT

Leave to cool, as they do the vacuum seals should invert.
***if by any chance they seal properly don’t DON’T PANIC just refrigerate and eat your chutney within the month ***

Kris: I tried the Elgaar Clothbound Cheddar at the local Farm Gate Market and just had to buy some. The farm itself is certified organic and all of their products are fantastic.

Caroline: I love that the chutney has a lot of spices in it, it holds up really well with the cheddar which is SOOO sharp it’s almost spicy! All on top of my new favorite cracker: Arnott’s Country Cheese! YUM

Kris: The cheddar is rich, crumbly and sharp. Elgaar age their Clothbound cheddar for up to 3 years making the flavours really rich and intense!  Paired with the spicy chutney, the cheddar it is an ideal match for a big American style IPA.

Kris: Victory Hop Devil is a 6.7% American IPA. It has a sweet malt backbone and massive resinous/citrus and pine hop character with a lingering bitterness. A classic example of one of my favourite styles.

Caroline: Man is this a BIG one! So hoppy. Remember IPAs? All together, what an awesome pre-dinner snack…

Brewing my first Wet Hop Ale

Kris: One of my favourite things to do this time of year is to take a drive out through Bushy Park, on the way to Mt Field National Park. It is approximately 40 minutes from Hobart and is definitely a must visit for beer lovers. The historic town has some great old Oast Houses (used to dry hops in the past) and is the largest hop producing area in Australia.(Above is a view of the hop fields in Bushy Park)

Kris: On a recent drive through the hop fields, I discovered some hop plants growing on a fence on the side of the road. I waited about 6 weeks and returned to pick some hops to brew my first all mash Wet Hop Ale. I am not sure what varietal of hops they are, but they are quite floral and citrusy. I can’t wait to see how my brew turns out.

Kris: I used some pale malt, malted wheat, cara-malt and crystal malt. I wanted to brew a beer with some subtle sweetness and with a nice red/brown colour to balance out the huge hop additions. It is looking like it will be around 6% ABV. After ferment I will rack the beer off into a clean fermenter and wet hop it for 7-10 days with the hops I picked in  Bushy Park.

Kris: This is my 3rd all mash brew and I am thinking I will have to build a gravity fed brew system soon. My brew house is a bit old school but it gets the job done. The vessel above is my Hot Liquor Tank, as well as the Kettle. I use a 3 ring cast iron burner and an old Power’s Bitter keg with a holw cut in the top.

Kris: The blue cooler is the mash tun. It is a drink cooler with a false bottom in it. I heat the water to 65-67 C and then combine this with the milled grain. The insulated mash tun holds the heat for an hour and then I drain off the wort into the kettle before an hour boil.

Kris : I used some Tasmanian grown galaxy hop pellets as the bittering hop addition and then two bags of the fresh hop flowers at 15 minutes and at the flame out.

Above: Adding the fresh hop flowers to the boil.

Kris: My Wet Hop Ale is busy fermenting, so now it’s time to play the waiting game. If all goes to plan I will be drinking a super hoppy Pale Ale in a few weeks time.