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Hops – No. 3 with a bullet

The brewers at BrewDog have made a list of their six favorite (or should that be favourite?) hops. You can see why co-founder James Watt has said, “We like to think of what we do as U.S.-inspired Scottish craft brewing.”

1. Chinook
2. Amarillo
3. Nelson Sauvin
4. Bramling Cross
5. Simcoe
6. First Gold

Kissed by the hopsThree hops grown in the U.S. Northwest (Chinook, Amarillo and Simcoe), two in the U.K. (Bramling Cross and First Gold) and one from New Zealand. Nelson Sauvin, released only in 2000, seems to be a hop du jour.

Its character has been likened to Sauvignon Blanc, the grape and wine variety, and New Zealand Hops Limited emphasizes its cutting edge attributes.

From the brewer’s notes: “The fruitiness may be a little overpowering for the un-initiated, however those with a penchant for bold hop character will find several applications for this true brewer’s hop.”

And from the suggested applications: “Very much at home in the new-world styles such as American Pale Ale and Super Premiums. This hop is considered by some as extreme and certainly makes it presence felt in specialty craft and seasonal beers gaining an international reputation.”


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12 Responses to Hops – No. 3 with a bullet

  1. todd March 10, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Favs for me? And in Beer? Ok, All Humulus lupulus var. neomexicana,,,no var. lupulus. In order (for now):

    A1105- dwarf plant, easy picker, early. Super lemon flavor that’s heavy with spice. Bright. Brings non-beer drinkers to the table.

    VV204- Unique plant with doublet flowers, highly bug resistant. 1/2.5 alpha/beta. Very floral aroma, gentle citrus, excellent for wit beers.

    The whole Rio group!- Super high ratio of flowers to vegetation. Not very rhizomatic. Excellent fruity bright floral flavor. No harshness. Citrusy too.

    Amalia- Big native plant with heavy yield of greasy golden cones. Super heavy orange flavor with hints of pear. Rich, dank, earthy with a bright orange finish. It has a bit of a kumquat flavor too.

    Latir- Super short internode distance with great yield. More of a standard nice hop flavor with good citrus notes of the lemon/grapefuit side.

    A505- Not a great production plant,,not easy to pick and more,,ok yield. Amazing super tangerine flavor from start to finish! Crazy tangerine flavor!

    Ok,,I’m really partial to hops with great citrus flavors. They tend to be the most bug resistant and more readily lend themselves to organic farming,,,due to those citrus compounds like limonene and linalool.

  2. Jeff Alworth March 10, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Todd’s list is interesting, and suggestive that new hop varieties are definitely a growth market. Good thing OSU’s on the case!

    If I had to go with six, they would be these:

    Amarillo (esp. fresh)
    Chinook (esp. for dry-hopping)
    East Kent Goldings

    And if everything but Cascade, EKG, and Saaz were wiped out, I would still live a pretty happy life.

    Among the newish varieties, Summits float my boat.

  3. Eric S. March 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

    I’ll play.

    Nelson Sauvin.
    Centennial (I really like Centennial).

  4. Mario (Brewed For Thought) March 10, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    1. Cascade
    2. Saaz
    3. Citra
    4. Amarillo
    5. Centennial
    6. Simcoe

    I just tried a Single Hop Citra beer the other day at bear and it blew me away, instantly threatened my two faves.

  5. first stater March 10, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    Northern Brewer

    That is all I need for my brewing needs.

  6. Sage March 10, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    Northern Brewer
    Styrian Goldings

  7. Rob March 11, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Styrian Golding
    Northern Brewer

  8. Old timer March 11, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Northern Brewer
    Hallertau Tradition
    Hallertau Mittlefruh

  9. Kristen England March 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    First Gold
    Brewers Gold
    Hallertauer hersbrucker
    Styrian goldings

    I can make anything in the world with those 6 hops.

  10. Barm March 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    It just so happens that I was looking at some old 1960s brewing records today. That brewery did everything, I mean everything, with just Fuggles, Goldings, Northern Brewer and Hallertauer. We are blessed today to have such a multiplicity of hop varieties at our disposal. But good brewers can make amazing beer with just one or two hop varieties.

  11. Bailey March 14, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    Have you come across Geoff’s blog? He’s brewing a whole series of beers with single hop varieties and had a bash with Nelson Sauvin recently.

  12. Mario (Brewed For Thought) March 19, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    @Bailey: Block 15 in Corvallis, OR is doing a lot of single-hop beers. Last summer I believe they did 6 in a series then finished it off with a double IPA using all of them. My friend in the area had tried a few of the 6 and the double IPA but I never got a chance to try them myself.

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