- 🇯🇵 Japan
Sorachi Ace hops, originally developed in Japan, have a fascinating history and a unique flavor profile that has captured the attention of homebrewers and professional brewers alike. This distinctive hop variety was created in the late 20th century through a collaborative effort between Sapporo Breweries and the Japanese Hop Growers Association. Named after the Sorachi Subprefecture on the northern island of Hokkaido, where it was first cultivated, Sorachi Ace is the product of crossing Saaz and Brewer's Gold hops, the offspring then being crossed with a Beikei No. 2 male (a Japanese variety). It was intended to combine the best characteristics of both parent varieties, creating a hop that was both flavorful and well-suited for the Japanese brewing industry.
However, it wasn't until 2006 that the variety gained more widespread recognition, thanks to its introduction to the American craft beer scene. Brooklyn Brewery was one of the first breweries to use Sorachi Ace in the United States, and their eponymous saison made this hop variety a favorite among craft beer enthusiasts and homebrewers alike.
The flavor profile of Sorachi Ace hops is truly one-of-a-kind, boasting a mix of bright citrus notes, predominantly lemon zest, and a distinct dill-like herbaceousness. This unique combination makes it an ideal choice for adventurous homebrewers looking to experiment with new tastes and aromas in their beer. Sorachi Ace hops are versatile and can be used for both bittering and aroma additions, with an alpha acid content typically ranging from 10 to 16%. They are especially well-suited for IPAs, saisons, and witbiers, adding a refreshing twist and depth to these beer styles. When using Sorachi Ace hops in your homebrew, start with a smaller amount and adjust to your taste preference, as the bold flavors can easily dominate the final product if used excessively.