Hop Harvest Down Under: Flavors from Southern Hemisphere

Most beer lovers would drool over a handful of the hops that were grown in the American Northwest-imagine smelling the floral notes of Cascade hops and just knowing they’ll bring an even bitterness to the beer they’re headed for…are you drooling yet? I’ve got to admit that my mouth is watering at the thought. But come this time of year, hops to be plucked from the vines of a Northern Hemisphere are still barely sprouting roots (rhizomes for those of you who are waiting to hear the word). This time of year, another harvest abounds instead, and to find out, we’ve got to flip the equator (unless you’re already lucky enough to be down under)!

 

Brewers are Already Taking Advantage of Southern Hops

While few of the labels will tell so, brewers are already enjoying the use of hops from our friends below the equator, namely Australia and New Zealand. Hops are finicky and generally like to stay in certain latitudinal regions, which is why you just don’t find hops in every adults’ garden. Still, some home brewers’ from the North have taken to these gems and are attempting to grow and use them in the first brewed batch of Spring.

 

If you’re wondering what varieties of Southern Hemisphere hops can you expect to find, you’re not alone. With little digging involved, I’ve come back to you with, no not fresh hops to smell yourself, but a little information on some of the best crops.

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The Best Hops From the Southern Hemisphere

 

  • Galaxy

    • I’m starting with the Galaxy hop for no other reason than I love the name and can also picture a swirling galaxy when I look up at a fresh hop. This hop is tropical and citrus-like; exactly what I’d expected when I thought Southern Hemisphere.
  • Pacific Jade
    • This hop is very versatile. Where some hops are known for the way they make a beer smell and others are known for the bitterness they pack into their petals, the Pacific Jade acts both as a bittering agent and an aromatic addition because of it’s excellent lemon pepper taste.
  • Southern Cross
    • Mostly, this hop is just for bittering, meaning it’s added to the wort early in the boil where its smell’s will be coaxed out of it overtime. It’s lemony as well and used commercially to pack a bitter punch

 

Southern Hemisphere Hops Aren’t Played Out

Beers brewed with Southern Hemisphere hops exist, and some brewers even market to the change of taste the cones bring, but there’s certainly a lot more that can be done with these little buggers. In my opinion, I haven’t noticed a huge variation from a Northern hopped beer to a Southern (and, if you’re not doing your research, you might not have noticed either), but I’d like to hear your thoughts too.

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Do you notice a nice change of pace when drinking a beer using Southern Hemispherical hops in place of Northern greenery?

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