Willamette Hops

I wanted to pass along this anecdote. I was out to dinner with the family last night and my father in law ordered wine. It was from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
My father in law, who lived in Oregon for a few years, was pronouncing the name of the valley and it took me by surprise. I told him there’s a hop variety with the name “Willamette” and I always pronounced it:

WILL-am-ette.

He told me there’s a saying in Oregon for people who mispronounced the name:

“It’s wuh-LAM-ette, DAMN it!”

(By the way, it’s Or-ruh-gin. Not Or-ruh-GONE. I learned that too from him.)

Now for the hop profile:

Willamette hops are a hybrid of the English Fuggle hop that were released by the USDA in 1976 and are named for the Willamette Valley where the majority of Oregon hops are grown.  The valley is on the 45th parallel which is closer to that 48th parallel that is noted as the place where hops grow the best because of the distinct seasons and the length of the day in the summer season.  They are a popular American flavor hop variety known for their earthy aroma and pleasant taste in a finished beer.

Origin: America (Specifically Oregon)

Aroma: Described by sources as mild having an herbal, woody, and earthy aroma.  Some fruit notes are also detected in some beers.

Alpha Acid: 4 – 6%

Typical Usage: For the most part, an aroma hop. Flavoring was also a primary use. Willamette hops can be used in ESBs, Pale Ale, Porters, Stouts. If there is a recipe that calls for Fuggles, try using Willamette instead for a more fruity aroma and flavor. Other possible hop substitutes include US Fuggle and Styrian Golding.

Willamette Hops

While you are here, check out other popular Brew Dudes hop profiles:
Ahtanum Hops
Simcoe Hops
Santiam Hops

Comments

  1. Doesn’t matter what we call them if we can’t get them.

  2. We have a similar pronunciation issue down here in Texas with the Pedernales river. We pronounce it “PERD-a-Nal-ees”! It’s an easy way to tell the locals from the outlanders!

  3. I’ve lived in Oregon for 28 years, and I have never heard it called “will-MAN-ette”. I have have heard Easterners call it “WILLA-met” , but Oregonians all agree on your pronounciation: “WILL-am-ette”

  4. Interesting. He lived in Portland for a number of years and that’s where he heard it.

    The plot thickens.

  5. Stepanych says:

    Хм…. В этом блоге хоть комментаторы нормальные А то пишут обычно в коменты ерунду всякую.

  6. Hi there,

    I am not sure what you wrote. Could you leave a comment in English? Thank you.

  7. oregonians pronounce it wil-LAM-ette

  8. Lived here my whole life. Born in Portland 31 years ago. Its will-lamb-et. There’s a river runs right through Portland with the same name. Accent on the second syllable.

  9. Yep, I agree with you. I have updated my post.

  10. Not to beat this thing to death, but … lived in Oregon for 22 years, and I have always heard it pronounced “Wil-LAM-et” , with an emphasis on the second syllable. And as for Oregon, “or-eh-gun” … I’ve always noticed a deeper, flat ‘u’ sound on the last syllable rather than in ‘i’ note, but if you want to split hairs …

    But as far as the hops in question goes, I really like these hops! Nice and floral. herby, just enough AA for an aroma hop. These grow everywhere in the valley here. I hear its what Budweiser uses in its beer (OK, so maybe not the best example…).

    My question: Since Willamettes are derived from Fuggles, are they a good substitute for Fuggles? Its been quite a while since I’ve smelled either, much less side by side, I kind of forget what Fuggles smell like. Would Wilamettes do well in darker beers, like porters or stouts, as do Fuggles and Goldings?

  11. Yes. In BYO hop substitution chart, they listed Willamette hops as a good replacement for Fuggles in a recipe.

    I think Willamette hops are pretty versatile. They are US grown so they tend to be a little stronger, more pungent. Although I haven’t used them in a dark beer yet, I think we would perform as well as UK Fuggles or Goldings.

  12. They are great in a dark beer eg. Kelham Island Brewery’s Night Rider lovely stuff.

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