Cascade

Hop Variety

Cascade

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

4 – 6%

Beta Acid %

6%

Background

The Cascade variety of hop seems to reach new levels of popularity with every passing brew. It was originally released in 1971 being bred by the US department of agricultures hop breeding program.

Bred from parents which include the English Fuggles variety and the Russian Serebrianka it shares similar bittering qualities to the German variety of Hallertauer Mittelfrueh but the aroma qualities are vastly different.

Brewing Attributes

Cascade is a hop that almost encapsulates US craft beer, bold, robust and full of flavour. Used for both bittering and aroma purposes it has a distinct citrus, floral character that means it can usually be picked out by aroma alone.

The cohumulone levels are what sets Cascade apart from varieties like Mittelfrueh mentioned previously. The most common descriptor of the aroma quality would be grapefruit and pine, and this combination makes it ideal for American Pale ales.

Possible Substitutions

Centennial are said to be a good aroma substitute for cascade although the alpha acids are much higher. They are often referred to as a supercharged version of cascade.

Commercial Examples

Many commercial examples of Cascade hopped beers are available especially in American style pale and amber ales. They are used extensively in the US as an aroma hop.

 

Cluster Hops

Hop Variety

Cluster

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

5 – 9%

Beta Acid %

%

Background

Cluster is believed to be the oldest variety of hop currently grown in the US and was once the dominant hop used by the American brewing industry. Its parentage is unknown and may be a descendant of a native hop variety or the product of a fortunate open pollination of a european variety of hop. Although the hop is not held in high regard it has some of the best storage properties of any hop available, even in non refrigerated conditions.

Brewing Attributes

Cluster is best known as a bittering hop, however in recent times it has fallen out of favour. There are numerous high alpha hops in the US that are more economical for bittering purposes. It does have a fresh, crisp bittering quality though that means it does still find its way into some craft breweries beers.

Although it isn’t notable as an aroma hop, especially when there are so many American aroma hops that are hugely popular, Cluster does have some qualities that reveal themselves when used late in the copper. Floral qualities and earthy notes are apparent but also some brewers have suggested a hint of grapefruit when used at flameout. If you are after grapefruit aromas in your beer there are plenty to hops to choose from that have them in abundance, if however you want subtlety then Cluster may well be worth trying.

Possible Substitutions

If you need to substitute Cluster it’s most likely going to be used as a bittering hop so hops with similar bittering qualities should be picked. Galena and Eroica are hops that although higher in alpha acids are most often cited as being similar in their qualities

Commercial Examples

Ascot Brewery in the UK brew a single hop Cluster IPA which is copper coloured although seasonal so hard to find.

Meantime Brewing use Cluster in their English Pale Ale along with East Kent Goldings and Cascade.

I believe Old Rasputin by North Coast Brewing in the US uses Cluster hops, this is a big bold beer that may be the best to showcase the hop.

Centennial Hops

Hop Variety

Centennial

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

8 – 10%

Beta Acid %

4%

Background

Centennial are one of the hops to define the big craft brewery movement in the US. Centennial is a hop from the US Department of Agricultures hop breeding program and was released in the 1990’s. It’s parentage comprises of a few well known varieties including Brewer’s Gold, Fuggle and East Kent Goldings.

Although it’s relatively young in terms of hop varieties it has proved to be one of the defining hops in US craft brewing alongside Cascade and Columbus the “Three C’s”

Brewing Attributes

Centennial has dual purpose, being a higher alpha acid variety is well suited to bittering. The bittering quality of Centennial is crisp and clean. The term “Super Cascade” is often used when describing Centennial and they do a have citrus, grapefruit notes as Cascade do but it not as pronounced as Cascade, there is more of a floral quality along with a gooseberry note.

As they are good as a dual purpose hop they are ideal in single hop beers and dry hopping which makes some striking beers that showcase Centennial very well.

Possible Substitutions

As mentioned previously Centennial does have attributes similar to Cascade, however Centennial has less of a fruitiness with less prominent flavours, they are also far higher in alpha acids so other hops are more suited for bittering purposes.

Columbus are a good substitute for bittering and better still, in terms of aroma a mixture of Cascade and Columbus of around 70/30 ratio will approach Columbus.

Commercial Examples

Centennial is a very popular hop and one of the ever present “C” hops used in American craft beers. You can expect to find Centennial in a lot of beers especially hop forward IPA’s and pale ales.

Flying Dog Brewery make a Centennial Imperial IPA as part of a series of single hop beers and this showcases the hop well.

Sierra Nevada also use Centennial along with other hops in the Bigfoot Ale and their Celebration Ale

Chinook

Hop Variety

Chinook

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

12 – 14%

Beta Acid %

3 – 4%

Background

Chinook are another US hop variety developed by the US Department of Agricultures hop breeding program. Released in 1985 Chinook are a high alpha acid variety that contain around 12 – 14% alpha acids and 3 – 4 % beta acids.

Chinook are the product of a cross of a Golding variety hop called Petham Golding and a wild hop that originated in Idaho. Chinook although quite a young variety is well established for its use in Pale ales and IPAs in both the US and UK with quite a few commercial examples showcasing their qualities.

Brewing Attributes

Chinook are a great bittering hop with a clean bittering quality and also because of the high alpha acid percentage very economical. As well as this they have a unique aroma that is very piney as well as having the grapefruit and citrus notes of US west coast hops although more subdued.

Although they are great for hoppy pale ales their versatility as a bittering hop also makes them good for darker beers like porters and stouts where a clean bitter finish is required.

Possible Substitutions

As an aroma hop Chinook are fairly unique so it’s going to be hard to emulate them with another variety, that said however I have heard people commenting Sticklebract are similar but whether or not they are is another matter, that’s if you can get hold of them as well.

Bittering qualities of Galena and Nugget are good at replicating that of Chinook and they are of similar alpha acid levels.

Commercial Examples

There are quite a few beers that use Chinook as the hop and a few of these are hopped solely with Chinook so if you can find these beers then you are going to know what to expect from them in your own beers.

First up is Brewdogs Punk IPA which although is not single hop it does use Chinook and you can get it pretty much anywhere in the UK. You might get lost with everything going on in this beer though.

Two Roses Brewery http://www.tworosesbrewery.co.uk/product-range/ does a single hop beer aptly named Chinook that showcases the hop in a pale ale, this is worth looking for.

Stones Arrogant Bastard which from most reports I’ve seen is hopped solely with Chinook, this is a beer which is powerfully hopped so you are getting maximum flavour from the hops.

 

Columbus

Hop Variety

Columbus

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

14 – 20%

Beta Acid %

4.5 – 5.5%

Background

Columbus is one of three hops that are grouped together and often referred to as CTZ. The other two varieties are Tomahawk and Zeus. Tomahawk is exactly the same as Columbus and Zeus is so similar that they are indistinguishable in the finished beer. Columbus is a descendant of Nugget and the issues surrounding its patents and trademark name cause the confusion between the three hops above.

Columbus is widely grown in the US and is part of the big “3 C” hops along with Cascade and Centennial. The 3 C hops are all grown in the Pacific Northwest and have gained tremendous popularity despite being a relatively new hop variety, only being introduced in the 1950’s

Brewing Attributes

Columbus is used as a dual purpose hop. The high alpha acid content makes it an ideal early bittering addition and the bittering quality is good.

Despite it’s ideal usage as a bittering hop Columbus does make a good late addition and dry hop. The aroma is earthy and pungent with citrus notes. I have found it a great late addition when used with other hops, it seems to create a good aroma that works well with a lot of other hop varieties.

Columbus are an ideal addition to Pale Ales, IPA’s and American Amber style beers as well as working well in darker beers. They have a black pepper and liquorice note that can work well in stouts and porters.

Possible Substitutions

If you cannot find Columbus try looking for it’s other trade names of Tomahawk, Zeus or CTZ it may be that your supplier will have one of these namesakes rather than Columbus. If none of these are available Nugget is a good substitute for bittering additions and I find Chinook or Centennial in combination have similar aroma characteristics.

Galena

Hop Variety

Galena

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

11 – 14%

Beta Acid %

7 – 9%

Composition

Total Oil: 1.05 mL/100g

Co-Humulone: 32 – 42%

Myrcene: 55 – 60%

Humulene: 10 – 15%

Farnesene: 0 – 1%

Caryophyllene: 3%-5%

 

Galena Hops

 

Background

A high alpha acid bittering hop, Galena was released commercially in 1978 and is a descendant of Brewers Gold.

Brewing Attributes

Galena is primarily a bittering hop that imparts a crisp and pleasant bitterness and because of the high alpha acid content is fairly economical in this usage. It can also be used as a late kettle addition but it is more moderate and subtle than other comparable US hops. The aroma is floral and there is an element of blackcurrant and soft fruits as well as subtle citrus, as mentioned previously though they are moderate in comparison to a hop such as cascade for instance.

Beer Styles

The good bittering potential of Galena made it a go to early hop addition in many early craft brewed pale ales in the US. Galena has potential in many beers however and goes equally well in both dark or light coloured ales.

Possible Substitutions

Galena is a descendant of Brewers Gold but has a higher alpha acid content. My personal substitution for Galena is Columbus and I have brewed beers with the two interchangeably as a bittering hop and cannot tell the difference. Nugget is another good substitution and has similar floral notes.

 

Santiam

Hop Variety

Santiam

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

5 – 8%

Beta Acid %

5 – 7%

Background

Santiam is a US hop bred in Oregon in 1988 and released by the USDA’s hop breeding program in 1997. It’s bred from Tettnanger, Hallertauer Mittelfruh and Cascade hop varieties as a European style aroma hop. Santiam is a triploid variety of hop meaning it is nearly seedless even in the presence of male pollinators.

Santiam is an often overlooked hop despite having pleasant brewing qualities very similar to noble hops such as Tettnang. In the US the quality of Santiam hops is actually better than that of actual Tettnang hops grown in the US which bear closer resemblance to Fuggle in terms of aroma and flavour character.

Brewing Attributes

As you are probably aware by now the Santiam hops  brewing qualities are very similar to that of the German noble hop Tettnang. Being primarily an aroma variety the characteristics of Santiam are floral and spicy notes with a hint of pepper the oil composition and ratios are very similar to the previously mentioned Tettnang which make this a good choice for US brewers who are trying to achieve noble hop characteristics in their beers using native hops.

Possible Substitutions

German variety noble hops are good substitutes and as you might of guessed Tettnang is the closest match in terms of essential oils and flavour compounds so this is the closest option. It may be best to choose Santiam over US grown Tettnang hops if you are looking for a noble hop aroma for your beer.

Commercial Examples

Commercial examples of the hop being used are hard to come by, there have been several breweries that have made single hop beers as a special but they are unavailable currently. If you know of a beer that uses them, drop a comment.

Simcoe

Hop Variety

Simcoe

Origin

US

Alpha Acid %

12 – 14%

Beta Acid %

4 – 5%

Background

Unlike most other hops the origins or parents of Simcoe hops are unknown as it is a proprietary hop developed by Yakima Chief Ranches. We do know however it is still relatively young in terms of hop varieties only being released in 2000.

Because of this relatively short history it has found its way into any and all types of beer made by US craft breweries but still relatively unused by many breweries outside of the US. That being said a few styles of beer use the hop to its full potential, among which American Double IPA’s and American Pale Ales often utilise it as a dry hop for it aroma qualities

Brewing Attributes

The aroma qualities of Simcoe hops are often described as piney, resinous and passion fruit. When you use moderate amounts at the end of the boil I find the dominant aroma to be pine and earthy characteristics.

The high alpha acid percentage of Simcoe make their use as a bittering hop fairly economical and their stability in storage means their attributes don’t decline too rapidly.

Possible Substitutions

Simcoe is fairly unique and only being released in 2000 means it has a fairly short heritage. One of the closest substitutes, and one I gave fallen on myself is Summit. Summit has similar aromatic traits but a slightly higher alpha acid content.

Magnum is a good substitute for early addition bittering contributions.

Sterling

Hop Variety
Sterling

Origin
US

Alpha Acid %
6 – 9%

Beta Acid %
4 – 6%

Background

Sterling are a relatively new variety of hop only being released in 1998. Developed in 1990 it is a cross of a variety of hops most notably Saaz, Cascade, Brewers Gold and Early Green. The reason it was bred in the first place was to have a Saaz like aroma hop that wasn’t susceptible to disease and fungus and having a yield big enough to make up for the shortfall in the Saaz harvest.

The composition of the hops makes it a unique combination, having levels of co-humulene in comparison to alpha acid content similar of that to noble hops.

Brewing Attributes

Sterling has moderate levels of alpha acids and desirable aroma properties making it a good dual purpose hop. It’s breeding to make up for the shortfall of Saaz in the US, highlights it as a good hop to use in similar beer styles as you would Saaz.

The aroma is floral and citrus with notes of pineapple. The moderate aroma makes it suitable as an aroma hop in the more subtly flavoured beers such as Pilsners, Lagers, Blonde ales and Belgian Style beers.

Possible Substitutions

As you can probably guess by now Sterling is used as a substitute for Saaz and the same could apply in reverse. The aroma is similar but the alpha acid content will probably be higher in the Sterling so take this into consideration if using as a bittering hop.

Lublin is another hop similar in aroma to Sterling and Saaz. The aroma may be more floral and herbal in Lublin but it is frequently used in beer styles you would find Sterling in.

Mt. Hood is another hop I have seen suggested as a substitute and may weel be a great substitute for biittering.

Willamette

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.