So what hops go together to make a more interesting and complex beer? Well, that’s where the fun of blending comes into play. Part of the art of brewing a great beer is finding a blend of hops to work with a selection of malts and yeast. Consider Citra and Simcoe. Citra is absolutely delicious when deployed skillfully; it is full of (shockingly!) citrus, as well as peach, lychee and tropical fruit character. Simcoe is one of the most intense American hops and is often used in conjunction with its brethren Citra, sometimes to soften Simcoe expresses qualities reminiscent of high grade marijuana: resiny, piney, musky. Together, Citra and Simcoe create a great big juicy blast of a beer. From the zesty fresh fruit and dankness of the aroma to the long crisp bitterness and the sherbet lemon, herbal foliage and hint of rolling tobacco glued together with pine, let’s enjoy Craft Beer Crosscut 12.12.17: A Flight of Citra and Simcoe.
5.2% ABV, 40 IBU
With Modern Times Spaceship Earth, you get all the aroma hop fun from a hazy IPA, but this pale ale is more refreshing with small acidity and quenching character like carbonated white grapefruit juice. Named after Buckminster Fuller’s 1968 short book, this crushable hazy pale ale is packed with Centennial, Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo and Denali hops, yielding an aroma of green mango, green banana, pineapple upside down cake and canned pineapple. Grapefruit dominates the front of the palate followed by more grapefruit pith and herbal bitterness accentuated by the dry body. The light bodied pale finishes with bread, lemon and more grapefruit.
7.8% ABV, 75 IBU
John Harris’ dream to make it easier to bring Ecliptic Brewing on stargazing treks into the mountains became real when he selected a counter pressure canning system from Codi Manufacturing out of Golden, Colorado. He selected his juicy Starburst IPA to lead off the aluminum charge. The dry-hopped IPA explodes with Amarillo, Azacca, Centennial, Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe hops for fresh flavors of citrus, fruit and pine. Starburst is backed by 100 percent pale malt for a super clean finish and puts the focus on the hop flavors and aromas.
6.5% ABV, 77 IBU
All the Black Raven Brewing craft beers reference in some way historical or literary ravens of note, starting with the Trickster IPA, a multiple award-winning tropical fruit IPA to BeakTweaker Citrus IPA, brewed with rye malt. The seasonal BeakTweaker is built on a firm base of barley and rye malts, with bold citrus flavors and aromatics. Indeed, dip your beak into this one for a nice lemon kick with rye spiciness. Waves of citrus and bitter hops dominate this one, thanks to Citra and Simcoe. The firm bitterness combines with citrus hop characteristics accented by the addition of black lemon, orange peel and lemon peel. There is enough of a rye balance in the malt profile to keep everything in check.
A brainchild of the founders of California heavyweights The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing, The Hop Concept is based on one very simple goal: to showcase the full flavor of every hop on the planet. “Citra & Simcoe” receive centerstage in today’s flight. Citra and Simcoe are two of the most intense hops on the planet. Each with alpha content reaching a whopping 15 percent. Citra hits the nose with lime, lemon and orange; Simcoe brings the forest with pine needle resin and crushed sage; together they unite in a thoroughly dry, borderline palate-crushing bitterness that lingers forever.
11.25% ABV, 131 IBU
Knee Deep Simtra whops the nose with dank pine, punchy green onion and hints of garlic. Toasted malts underscore explosive Citra and Simcoe hop flavors: Onion splashes down first, then transitions into resinous pine, spruce tip, floral buds and grass countered by strong grapefruit, pineapple, blood orange, melon and lemon peel sweetness. Very bitter but the bitterness is countered by prominent fruit sweetness. It sports some boozy sweetness and a bit of heat in the finish but the high ABV is well masked. Alcohol presence takes away slightly from the hop flavors but it’s still deceptively drinkable at 11.5 percent.