Back in 2021, a reader asked us to brew a SMaSH beer with Nectaron hops. “Absolutely!”, we replied. Sadly, this variety wasn’t available. We had to wait two years to get our hands on a packet of these pellets. When the 2022 harvest was made available on Yakima Valley Hops, I purchase a couple of packets – one to brew a SMaSH beer. Finally, we have fulfilled our goal. Watch this video to see what we thought of this New Zealand hop.
A Little Bit About Nectaron Hops
This variety is bred by New Zealand’s Plant & Food Research. This organization has had a hand in many of the NZ hops we have grown to love like Nelson Sauvin and Motueka. Nectaron hops are a sister of Waimea and carry the many of the same new world hop descriptors.
My SMaSH process is to brew a gallon batch with 2 pounds of malt, 2 US gallons of water, 1 ounce of hops, and US-05 yeast to ferment. Now, let’s how this beer tasted.
What Were Our Thoughts?
Off the nose, Mike picked up some melon aromas with some spice. After tasting the beer, Mike mentioned notes of green grape and lychee. I found the flavor has unripe peach flavors mixed with spicy ginger and zesty citrus.
The marketing descriptors have pineapple listed in them. We didn’t detect them. A thiol-supporting yeast strain may make those other tropical fruit notes pop in the beer. Mike likes the idea of brewing a Witbier with this hop along with the coriander and the orange peel.
Remember, we’re two dudes tasting our own beer. Take these ideas as a data point on the road to beer greatness. We like this hop a lot and think you should brew with them. Use them in your next hop forward beer.