Crusader (May 2013)
A ‘new’ English hop, with a nice floral/fruity flavour profile. Back in the 20’s / 30’s (and earlier) many new varieties of hops were bred and trialled. Many were rejected as brewers were reporting unpleasant flavours, including citrus notes. Today of course, many smaller brewers and drinkers go bandy for such flavours, and have to rely on USA/New Zealand/Australian sources for hops with these characteristics. So, these old rejected trial varieties are being re-discovered and brought back into commercial use. Still waiting for that Summit level of hop punch though…
‘G’ (May 2013)
An English trial hop variety, grown only a small scale (we were possible the largest commercial user, if not the only…) – such a small scale that it hasn’t even been given a proper name. Floral/Herbal and hints of lemon in the flavour.
Summit (April 2013)
A variety from the USA, so you’d expect a heady flavour profile including words like ‘citrus’, ‘grapefruit’, ‘orange’, ‘pineapple’. And that is exactly how it is. Except that ‘kick like a donkey on acid’ will also apply. If this isn’t the best hop on the planet, then, well, tough. Because we think it probably is. We use summit in Polar Star , and to that I can say no more….
Archer (Mar 2013)
A new English trial hop variety, released in late 2012. We are one of the first commercial brewers to use the hop, and certainly one of the first commercial Single Hop beers with this variety. There were hints of floral lemons on brew day, and on racking…
Columbus (Jan/Feb 2013)
Columbus is a USA variety, with a strong citrus character. Named after the Portuguese chappie who crashed his boat into America by accident, and then claimed he meant to do so, thus making him the first person to discover it. Also previously known as Tomahawk, after the axe-like thing wielded by people who are quite certain that Columbus was not the first person to see America (or ‘home’, as they no doubt called it). Anyway, we like this hop a lot, .
Aurora (Nov/Dec 2012)
A Slovenian variety, first grown in the 1970’s (in what was then Yugoslavia). It has a distinctive herbal/spicy lemon character, with hints of flared trousers & communism. It has in the past been called ‘Super Styrian’, but Aurora is the name now given by the growers.
Aramis (Oct/Nov 2012)
Aramis is a new (2011) French hop variety from the Alsace. It is suitable for both bittering and aroma uses, although it’s fairly light aroma makes it more suited to continental beer styles rather than full-on hoppy beers. The flavour profile suggests a floral/herby/spicy character, with hints of lemon. Whilst few people see France as a hop-growing nation, they are starting to increase their acreage (slightly), and Aramis is one of several varieties grown commercially.
Pacifica (September 2012)
Dating from the mid 90s, this is a New Zealand grown variety that was developed from German parentage. Orange, floral, citrus are probably the key flavour properties of this multi-purpose variety. Like all hops from down under, they require careful handling in transit to ensure that the important oils & resins do not drain out during the in-transit inversion process.
Simcoe (August 2012)
A modern variety from the USA, dating back to 2000. It has a strong pine / citrus flavour profile, and although perhaps not as powerful as some other modern hops, it has become very popular with brewers the world over. Or at least those who understand that hop flavours are added by brewers, not marketing men.