Cascade Hops

Finishing off my 3 Cs hop profiles, I am having an uneasy time sitting down to write a post about Cascade hops.  I mean, what else could I really add to the knowledge base already out there?  Plus, in American craft beer brewing, it’s arguably the most popular variety in terms of use.  In homebrewing circles, I have heard fellow brewers stating their boredom with Cascade.

So I chose to write a short passage about my “a-ha” moment with Cascade hops to do something different.

Picture it:  Summer of 2000.   My fiance’s parents were living in Portland, OR.   The two of us had flown out from Boston to stay with them for a week.  It was the first time spending “quality time” with my soon to be inlaws…so some pressure.  I certainly had to try to put on a good performance.  I was trying to avoid any plotline from the Meet The Parents film.

After a few days of me being grilled (figuratively), my fiance and I rented a car and drove up to Seattle.  After checking in, we went down to a brewpub that was close by.  We both ordered beers and I am not sure what I got, but I remember finishing off her IPA.

After every sip, there was this sensation of tangy fruit and citrus that I had only had hints of in say a Sierra Nevada.  No, this was a Cascade hop bomb….and I had a small epiphany about the power of this hop and its affect on American beer brewing.   Here I was in the Pacific Northwest, drinking a beer that defined the area for me but also was definably American…because this beer didn’t taste or smell like beers from other countries.

All good things happened after that pint.  Her parents sorta dug me, we’ve been together ever since, and we have two healthy kids now.  Frickin’ happy ever after.

Ok, not sure if the IPA had anything to do with it…but I still remember that moment like it was yesterday.

Here are the stats for Cascade hops:

Origin: USA.  Bred in 1956, it is a cross between Fuggles with a Ruskie hop variety called Serebrianker(What kind of Cold War espionage was involved in procuring this hop?)  It was bred at the USDA sanctioned hop breeding program at Oregon State University.  Released to the public in 1972.

Aroma: You know by now.  Citrusy, Flowery.  Ubiquitous (just joking).

Alpha Acid: 4% to 7% 

Typical Usage: Flavoring and Aroma.  I have never bittered with it but it can be used that way too.

Beer Styles:  American Beers

Read about the other BIG “C” hops:

Centennial hops

Columbus hops

Comments

  1. My inlaws drive me to drink too.

  2. Hahnderosa says:

    I did a triple Cascade-hopped double IPA that was really good. Very light. brite and citrusy. Used 4 oz for bittering and 1oz each for Flavor and Aroma. Much, much better than the similar N Brewer experiment. Now it’s time for that Mangum trial …

  3. …..”Some say it was bred by the USDA, other say Oregon University. Maybe it is both? Released to the public in 1972.”

    I attend Oregon State Univeristy, and we have a USDA sanctioned hop breeding program. Both cascade and nugget hops were first bred here.

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Sam. It is both.

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  1. […] a “full floral Cascade hop aroma” with this beer and if you’re a fan of this popular American hop, then Sacred Cow is certainly up your […]

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