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As the name suggest Bramling Cross is a hop a variety that crosses varieties, one being a popular Golding hop clone called Bramling and the other a Canadian wild hop called Manitoban. The reason for crossing the original Bramling was to gain make the variety more resistant to disease and mildew, qualities the Manitoban hop was picked for. The British variety of hop that was bred at Wye college in 1927 and becoming commercially available in 1951.
The use of Bramling Cross was relatively rare up until quite recently. It is now been embraced by craft breweries for its unique aroma qualities
Bramling Cross is a good dual use hop which makes it good for bittering purposes. The aroma qualities however are quite unique and have a lemony and blackcurrant character when added late in the boil.
Dark fruit notes go very well in dark beers so Bramling Cross is ideally suited to dark beers like stouts and porters, they also find their place in lighter beers and are said to have an “American” aroma.
Bramling are difficult to substitute for aroma purposes because of the unique aroma profile. Otherwise for bittering purposes Progress or East Kent Goldings are said to be good alternatives.