Hops have been found growing across the globe, without any help from human hands, for centuries. These wild-grown breeds are known as landrace varieties. They showcase the terroir of their respective regions, exhibiting profoundly different flavor profiles depending on where they were found. We expect English ales to have a floral, woody hop character due to Fuggle, a variety found growing wild in England in 1861. The spicy, peppery Saaz hop is a hallmark of the Czech-style pilsner. German brews wouldn’t be the same without the cedar-and-tobacco aroma of Hallertauer Mittelfruh. But brewers and hop growers weren’t content to stick with these homegrown hop types. They began experimenting with them, cross-pollinating their fields with different varieties to emphasize certain qualities the same way dogs have been selectively bred over the centuries. One such hop is Cascade, the most widely grown hop in the U.S. Named for the Cascade Mountain Range, Cascade hops are crossbreed of English Fuggle and Russian Serebrianker — developed by the U.S.D.A breeding program in Oregon and released to the public in 1972. Flavors of pine, citrus, and floral undertones give these beers their life and personality. And a moderate alpha level (think bitterness) lends them their versatility as both aroma and bittering hop. Cascade makes a return appearance as Peaks and Pints’ beer flight focus. We present five craft beer brewed with Cascade in a flight we call Craft Beer Crosscut 7.14.17: A Flight of Cascade.
6.6% ABV, 46 IBU
If you live at temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, simply look northward and chances are that you’ll see the Big Dipper in your nighttime sky. It looks just like its namesake. Once you’ve found the Big Dipper, it’s only a rocket ship ride to Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood to the Little Dipper. Stoup Brewing’s Little Dipper IPA features two stars: Cascade and Galaxy. The combination of the two creates a balance of citrus and pine flavors mingling with bright fruit and dankness. It has aromas of fresh orange, pineapple, peach and floral notes. Tropical and dank, flavors of orange and bright resiny hops stand out against a complementary malt backbone leading to a crisp, clean finish.
7% ABV, 57 IBU
Besides people riding bicycles munching on pickled fish and chanting “Børk! Børk! Børk” the other curious happening Rainy Daze Brewing noticed as it was moving into Sound Brewery’s former facility in Poulsbo was the frequent kayakers paddling on nearby Liberty Bay. Founder and head brewer Mike Montoney wanted to pay tribute to his new home so he named his latest IPA Goat Boater, which is slang for kayaker. And he’s paddling all the way to the bank. Amarillo, Mosaic, Centennial and Cascade are the hops. Triple dry hop is the action. Tropical fruit and dank flavor are the selling points.
6.5% ABV, 65 IBU
According to Full Sail Hop Pursuit hype, “Brewers shoot a wonderfully hoppy surplus of Cascade, Mosaic, Equinox, and Simcoe into the fermenter using the Hop Shooter, dry hopping the beer and enhancing the aroma of pineapple and late hop flavors. Piney and mango notes follow with a mid-palate hint of honey.” Well, we think the aroma has a strong spruce presence with a hint of vanilla sweetness. We could pursue this IPA with its bitter and caramel sweetness, grapefruit citrus notes and a touch of mango.
7.1% ABV, 84 IBU
Joel VandenBrink, the founder of Two Beers Brewing Co., hiked the 93-mile trail circumnavigating Mount Rainier solo. He dreamed of above 80 International Bitterness Units while hiking through Mystic Camp at 5,570 feet. He believed he could push an IPA close to the alcohol by volume mark of a double IPA as he trudged along the South Mowich River. He drew inspiration mixing strong citrus flavor hops with hops boasting earthy, pine characteristics while traversing along a ridge to Devil’s Dream Camp. Wonderland Trail IPA is the product of nearly two years of recipe development. Featuring a seamless blend of Washington-grown hops, this flavorful Northwest-style IPA is brewed with Cascade, Amarillo, Mosaic and Legacy hops, then dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic hops, complemented by 2-Row, Vienna and Munich malts. On the nose, a slightly sweet aroma of tangerine is followed by a wave of citrus and passion fruit on the palate, finishing clean and refreshing.
6.6% ABV, 65 IBU
Telegraph Brewing, an award-winning craft brewery located on downtown Santa Barbara’s Salsipuedes Street, specializes in brewing uniquely American and Belgian-inspired beers using 100 percent domestic ingredients and as many local ingredients as possible. The brewery strives to capture in its beers the unique culinary and agricultural traditions of Santa Barbara and California’s Central Coast. Telegraph IPA offers generous hop flavor and aroma and a clean, dry finish. Loaded with Cascade, Centennial, Meridian, CTZ hops, it is bold, yet balanced, IPA with notes of citrus, pine and resin.