They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Friday, 25 November 2011

Single Hop Blendige!

It seems single hop beers are still around, still going strong. I've gotten a little bored of them recently though. We've just got three more from Mikkeller in the shop and before I even tried them I had an inkling of what they would be like; "More Mikkeller single hop beers, hoppy - yes, great tasting - yes, informative - yes.... boring - yes. (I can recall saying, with a sigh, to a regular "yeah they taste awesome...") I've gotten a little tired of the massively hopped uber beers. It should be said that it's my own fault, it's all I've been drinking recently, and for my point of them being informative (in the way of how a certain hop tastes) that's sort of loosing it's value; if you try to many of them, it's kinda hard to remember what each tastes like.

I did try these three Mikkeller beers last night, and yes they were awesome, and you couldn't really fault them. (apart from having no real malt presence) It got me thinking about the whole single hop beer thing though. These three beers had the exact same recipe, even alcoholic strength as each other, apart from the variety of hop. Apparently a tweet from @MagicRockRich also informed me that the bitterness levels for the beers should be adjusted to around the same levels. This then came to me in a moment of clarity, no a moment of pure genius (in my opinion)...

Oh Yeah!

I had found out what these hops had been like by themselves. I now wanted to find out what these hops tasted like together!

Result?: Bloody awesome - without having to sigh!

It was my very own uber glass of Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin and Tomahawk (isn't that Simcoe?) IPA - tasting fantastic. The reason I thought of this was for reasons of home brew. Yes a single hop beer can give you an insight into it's own particular taste, but that's where it ends, and most home brewers I know like to use a few hops these days. There are plenty of single hop beers out there at the moment, and they usually have the same recipe, apart from the hops. Blending these beers together can give a proper insight to what different hops taste like together. It's up to you really. If you want to know what hops taste like, try them on their own, just don't try to many that you forget what the first tasted like. If you want to know which hops work well together, this is a pretty perfect method. Or chose not to, make some beer on guesses, but be warned - Some hops do not go well together!


  1. Given the money to buy some of these beers, this is a very very brave experiment for people though.

  2. Actually, considering pretty much all are below 7.5%, and most are rather reasonable, it's not too much of a gamble :)

  3. Tomahawk (and Zeus for that matter) are effectively Columbus also sometimes called CTZ hops, super high alpha and super assertive in flavour as well.

    I reckon those 3 would meld very well in an IPA.

  4. Ah thanks for that Greg, had wondered what CTZ stood for but never got around to looking it up! I like finding out what different hop varieties taste like, then a single-hopped beer comes along and masquerades as a different hop and my preconceptions are reset to zero

  5. CTZ hops sound cool!, but what's with the different names?

  6. My understanding was that the Mikkeller single hops use the same amount of hops for each brew - there's no adjustment for hop alphas. I'm probably wrong though

  7. From "Popular Mechanics"

    Proprietary naming rights sometimes have identical or nearly identical strains being sold under multiple names. Columbus, Tomahawk and Zeus, or the CTZ hops, are the most famous example of this phenomenon. CTZ hops are known as super-alpha hops due to the extremely high percentage of alpha acids they contain, making them ideal bittering additions. Columbus hops can be found alongside Centennial hops in Stone Ruination IPA or in Saranac's Brown Ale.

  8. I had the Tomahawk last night too!!! pretty good it was too.

  9. that's a really ,really good idea. Seriously.