Recently, I saw a few craft beers brewed using only Saphir hops. I had not heard of them before so I did a little digging to find more information. Unfortunately, there is not a lot out there.
Now that Beck’s has released a beer that uses, as they have marketed, Sapphire hops, the world now wants to know more about this variety. Too bad there is no such thing as Sapphire hops. The correct spelling is Saphir.
Much of the information I found was in German. I used some translator sites but you know how that goes – they weren’t very good.
Saphir hops are a new breed that has been bred as an alternative to the Hallertauer Mittlefrüh variety. It is more disease and pest resistant.
It was bred with a Hallertau parent and probably a long list of other hops to make it more commercially viable.
I wish I had a year it was made publicly available, but I found no information. A comment left below states that Saphir was developed at the Hop Research Center in Huell, Germany and was released in 2002.
Aroma: Refined, sweet, mild clean citrus, hint of tangerine
Alpha Acid: 2.5 – 4.5 %
Typical Usage: Aroma
Beer Styles: Plisners, German lagers, Belgian whites
I am not sure how much different this variety is from the noble flavors and aromas of Hallertau hops (Sam Adams Boston Lager’s signature hops).