Not to be confused with Summer Shandy hops, which are an ornamental variety, these are Summer hops – sometimes shown as AU Summer hops because they do come from a land Down Under.
Hops Products Australia (HPA) is the breeder of this variety. They are a part of the Barth-Haas Group, which is headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany.
Lately, the most interesting varieties are coming out of AU and Summer is not an exception. Here are the details:
Origin: As mentioned above, Australia
Aroma/Flavor: Subtle Melon and Apricot.
Alpha Acid: 5.6 – 6.4%
Typical Usage: Aroma
Beer Styles: A plethora of American ales, especially IPAs
If you were looking for a hop variety to complement the melon aromas and flavors, Belma hops could be a good one to pick up.
To bolster the apricot presence, you could add some Palisade hops to the mix.
Summer hops were one the first successes HPA had in attempting to breed a true aroma hop by European standards. With its low alpha acids, a home brewer could up the addition of this hop with good results and without fear of making the beer too bitter.
The other thing I picked up in reading the specifications from the HPA site was that the hop profile truly reveals itself when you dry hop with it. Is that a comment on the subtly of the hop or was it just worth noting that dry hopping with Summer hops provided some great results in the beer?
There are so many new fruity hops out there that you could brew a beer with a simple base malt foundation and a little bit of bittering hops at the start of the boil to set up for a huge hop burst with many different varieties added at the end of the boil. Dry hop for a few days before bottling or kegging, this beer would be a fruity masterpiece. Drink it fresh and I don’t think there would be a better homebrew for hop heads.