I have known about Equinox hops for a while now but they had a different name when I first read about them. The Hop Breeding Company developed the variety and before they branded it, it was known as HBC 366. Now that they have a name and they are being sold at my local homebrew shop, I thought it made sense to write up a profile.
These hops have been hyped a bit for a year or so. Again, it felt weird to me to post something that didn’t have its commercial name. Some breweries have brewed with them. There’s Brooklyn Brewery summer ale that is available now that uses these hops exclusively. You can surely try them out in that beer. As for me, I just order 4 ounces of Equinox hops so I can brew more fruity ales this year.
Read more about this special hop variety.
Origin: USA – a collaboration between Select Botanicals Group LLC and the John I Hass company. Originally planted in Toppenish, Washington State.
Aroma/Flavor: Lots of descriptors – lemon, lime, papayas, apples, cherries, mango, green pepper, citrus, pine.
Alpha Acid: 14.4 – 15.6%
Typical Usage: As of right now, these are definitely an aroma hop. I plan to use them in late boil additions and for dry hopping to get to know them. They do have a high alpha acid percentage so maybe you can use them in the bittering charge as well.
Beer Styles: IPAs, American ales, a modern interpretation of a pilsner
Equinox hops are a daughter of the Warrior variety. For my beer, I would bitter with the parent and have multiple additions of the child. With four ounces, I am pretty sure I can put together a simple pale ale with some clean bitterness to build that fruity hop flavor and aroma on top.
With a hop this complex, my mind starts to wander and it thinks about how it would taste in a braggot or an experimental mead (remind me to write up something about the new BJCP guidelines). Imagine a medium mead with a bit of honey sweetness at the forefront and the complex hop flavor of Equinox in the finish. It could be something someday.