Hop profile on the new hop variety Belma. This trademarked hop variety was introduced in late 2012 by Hops Direct, LLC and Puterbaugh Farms. They are named after a small community that once existed in Washington State.
Unfortunately, it appears to be sold out until this year’s harvest but it has stirred up some interest from commercial and homebrewers alike.
From the Hops Direct site, they stated that Dr. Tom Shellhammer from Oregon State University brewed up a pale ale with them. Actually, the page stated he create a Pale Ale Malt, but I am thinking it was a typo. In any case, he had some good descriptors of the aroma and flavors.
Around the web, other people brewed with them and posted their findings. From what I read, the consensus is that Belma is a distinctive, pleasant hop variety but doesn’t pack the punch of some other American hop varieties. It’s milder in terms of its intensity.
Bear Flavored Ales had a good write up of their Belma single hop IPA.
Here’s the rundown for this new variety:
Origin: USA. Yakima Valley of Washington State
Aroma/Flavor: Orange, melon, strawberry, with some grapefruit and tropical fruit notes
Alpha Acid: 9.8% – 12.1%
Typical Usage: Dual Purpose
Beer Styles: It seemed like many homebrewers who tested them out brewed IPAs with them and were happy with the results but the variety seemed too mild for the style.
With the fruitiness that Belma brings, there were suggestions of brewing a saison with them. With the aroma/flavor profile, I think these hops would be great in style where you want to showcase hop fruitiness. Maybe an American wheat beer where you split a batch and add fruit to one and left the other half for dry hopping with Belma. Maybe I just made a brew plan for the next time these hops are available.
Thanks to Señor Brew for the hop profile suggestion.