Hop Variety

Willamette

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

3 – 6%

Beta Acid %

3 – 4.5%

Background

Willamette is another hop bred by the US Department of Agricultures hop breeding program. It has very similar attributes to the UK hop Fuggles which was part of the intention to breeding it. Its parents are Fuggles and at the time of release in the 1970’s it was to make up for a shortfall in supply of the hop. Willamette is a triploid variety which means the hop cones are seedless.

Brewing Attributes

The reason Willamette was developed originally was to replace Fuggles in terms of aroma. In this regard it does a great job, it has similar aroma qualities as Fuggles with subtle earthiness and a slight pepper note as well as a pleasant fruitiness.

Willamette is a great workhorse type of hop in the US and one of the finest aroma hops available to the brewer. It is also said to enhance the citrus character of other hops, whether this is true or not is another question.

Possible Substitutions

As it was originally grown as a substitute for Fuggles it stands to reason that Fuggles is probably the first option to go to for aroma purposes. Similar earthy subtle hops like East Kent Goldings can be considered too.

Commercial Examples

St. Austell Brewery make Tribute http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/st-austell-tribute-cask/45100/ which I believe has a combination of Willamette, Fuggles  and Styrians.

I also believe New Belgium’s Fat Tire http://www.newbelgium.com/beer/detail.aspx?id=7c5b394b-d7b7-486a-ac9a-316256a7b0ee  uses a combination of Willamette and Goldings where the Willamette is actually the bittering hop.