- Dual Purpose
- 🇺🇸 United States
Cluster hops have a long and storied history in the world of brewing, tracing their origins back to the early 19th century United States. They are considered to be the oldest American hop variety and are a genetic mix of European and native North American hops. Cluster hops earned their name from the distinctive tightly packed clusters of cones that grow on the plant. At one point, these hops accounted for nearly 90% of the total hop production in the United States, but their popularity has waned over the years due to the emergence of newer, more specialized hop varieties. Despite this, Cluster hops remain a staple among many brewers for their versatility and classic taste.
The flavor profile of Cluster hops is often described as earthy and floral, with a mild, spicy character. They have a moderate alpha acid content, typically ranging from 5.5% to 8.5%, and a relatively low beta acid content of 3.0% to 5.0%. This makes them suitable for both bittering and aroma applications in beer brewing. Cluster hops are known for imparting a well-rounded bitterness to the finished product, which makes them a popular choice for many traditional American beer styles, including American Pale Ales, Cream Ales, and Lagers. Additionally, the unique flavor profile of Cluster hops lends itself well to experimental brews and can add a nostalgic touch to your homebrews.
Incorporating Cluster hops into your recipes can be a nod to the rich history of American brewing. The hops' balanced bittering properties and distinctive aroma can help you achieve a classic, yet nuanced flavor in your brews. Cluster hops are a versatile and reliable choice for those looking to explore the roots of American beer styles, or simply looking to add a touch of tradition to their brewing repertoire.