I used Cluster hops for my first cream ale a long time ago but didn’t write up a profile for them. I am glad I didn’t at the time since Cluster hops are a variety rich in history…American history.
I needed to take time to research and get the facts straight.
They appear to be a hybrid of the North American wild hop and European varieties brought over by the English and the Dutch in the 1600s. Specifically, the Massachusetts Company brought hops to grow in America in 1629 and 17 years later, they were cultivating hops commercially. During this time, Cluster hops became the first American variety.
Not sure if this is true, but up until the 1970s, Cluster hops were only of a few American varieties being grown commercially here in America. From the data gathered in my other hop profiles, I am guessing this statement is correct. Viva the homebrewing revolution!
Aroma/Flavor: Spicy, some say “catty”…I guess that means like catnip? Well balanced aromas.
Alpha Acid: 5.5 – 8.5%
Typical Usage: General purpose with an emphasis on bittering
Beer Styles: All American ale and lagers. Good for dark beers with roasty, chocolatey flavors.