Cascade is one of the most recognizable aromatic hops providing a citrus, spice, and floral fragrance. These hops are often used in West Coast styled ales, including American Pale Ales, India Pale Ales, Blonde Ales, Amber Ales, American Hefeweizens, and American Porters. Cascade hops are extremely popular in craft brewing with their pleasantly flowery, spicy, and grapefruit flavor. Get your Cascade hops and more homebrew supplies in Gresham at The Hoppy Brewer. Learn about the history of Cascade hops below.
History of Cascade Hops
In an attempt to reinvigorate the American beer industry after prohibition the US government reestablished the USDA hop breeding program at Oregon State University. By 1935, Cluster made up 90% of Oregon’s 30,000 acres of land dedicated to growing hops. One of the main tasks of the breeding program was to maintain healthy crops.
Not an easy task in the face of an ever-growing Downy Mildew blight that was ravaging the Cluster hop fields of Oregon. Cluster hops seemed especially susceptible to this disease. To combat it the program wanted to develop a hop that could stand up to Downy Mildew.
They found it, when Dr. Stan Brooks allowed a hop variety of English Fuggle and Russian Serebrianker pedigree to be wind pollinated by an unknown male variety. This new variety was initially only known by its number designation USDA 56013 and was only one of many varieties being tested.
The new variety showed promise. Along with its seemingly good resistance to Downy Mildew came a bonus similarity to the Hallertauer Mittlefrueh German aroma hop that was being so heavily imported by American breweries. In 1967, the USDA gave the go ahead to plant a small plot in Oregon.
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