Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Hops Alert: HBC 291, HBC 344, HBC 366, HBC 462

Hop Leaf Block

Why am I making a whole separate post about these four new hop varieties when Bear Flavored's illustrious and comprehensive "Ultimate Guide to Hop Varieties / Hop Cheat Sheet" already exists? Well, over the year and a half since I first published and researched my hop guide, many new hops have hit the scene, and I've debated how to best aggregate all these experimental varieties with little info and negligible documented brewing experience. The problem with including experimental hop varieties in a guide like mine is that many of them will be discontinued after a few growing seasons — not even discontinued really, but abandoned, as most of these varieties are never given real names until it's decided that they're here to stay. Sometimes, an HBC 369 turns into Mosaic and officially blows up the brewing world. Other times these hops will be beta tested for a growing season or two and then quietly disappear.

And who can remember all those numbers, anyway? A hop hasn't really made it until it's given a name. A comprehensive hop guide will actually grow less useful by including every single new experimental variety, in my opinion. Over time, they would build up, requiring careful pruning so as to not crowd out real, readily-available varieties. (Look how many legacy hops there already are, technically for sale if you search for them, but hardly ever touched by the majority of brewers). 

Still, I want to document these new varieties; they often sound quite exciting. The more people that know about them, and brew with them, the sooner we might get the scoop on the next Mosaic or Citra!

HBC 291
AA Range: 10 - 12%
Beta: 4.5 - 5.5%
Cohumulone: 21 - 23%
Total Oil: 1.5 - 2.5 ml/100g
Characteristics: HBC 291 is peppery, floral and fruity.

HBC 344
AA Range: 14.5 - 15.5%
Beta: 4.5 - 5.5%
Cohumulone: 25 - 29%
Characteristics: A daughter of YCR 5 (Warrior), HBC 344 was selected for its unique green apple and tropical aroma.

HBC 366
AA Range: 11.5 - 13.5%
Beta: 3.2 - 3.9%
Cohumulone: 24 - 26%
Total Oil: 2.3 - 4.3 ml/100g
Characteristics: Sensory analysis of HBC 366 shows marked peaks of citrus, tropical fruit and pine with nearly zero negative attributes. A daughter of YCR 5 (Warrior). HBC 366 has already been used in a few commercial brews from larger breweries, such as a new version of Lagunitas Sucks, and Brooklyn Scorcher #366.

HBC 462
AA Range: 15.5 - 16.5%
Beta: 4 - 5%
Cohumulone: 37 - 40%
Total Oil: 1.5 ml/100g
Characteristics: HBC 462's aroma has been described as having a grape-like fruitiness and herbal/spicy notes of mint and tea.

Got a tip on some more new hop varieties? Drop me a line at, or on Twitter @bearflavored. Interested in reading more about the hops of the future? Check out "What Will Hops Taste Like Next?"

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