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Home | Features | Flavours in favour

Flavours in favour

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More and more hops are neither alpha nor aroma

An increasing number of hop varieties fall into neither of the classic – alpha or aroma – segmentations. These are being referred to as flavour hops.

Flavour hops are essentially aroma hops, but with a higher alpha content, says Peter Darby, research director at Wye Hops. They are used for their high oil content rather than their bitterness, he explains, and tend to be added to the brew at a later stage than normal.

These new hops are integral to a significant number of craft beers, prompting the release of new varieties onto the market. This is turn is helping to raise awareness of hops among both makers and drinkers of beer.

New flavour hop Endeavour (with 8.5% alpha content) is currently going into farms across England, the Aramis hop is being developed in France and a number of old varieties, such as Braming Cross, are being re-appraised. These developments, says Darby, are evidence of the growing appetite for new and revived aroma types.

Although trends like these are prompting shifts in demand for the latest hop to hit the spot markets, Darby remains positive: “It’s not an easy situation to manage when brewers move onto the next thing but the hop industry likes to have interest from the brewers and so it can only be a good thing.”

Further reading:

English brewer uses 2,012 hop varieties

Marston’s singular hop ambition

The Beer World Cup