Every month we like to celebrate the bitter component in any good brew: Hops. This month we are casting our eyes to a popular hop variety: Cascade Hops.

The Cascade hop is a relative newcomer to the world when compared to some traditional hops like Saaz or Fuggles, but are popular nonetheless. You may not know it, but chances are that if you’re familiar with an American Pale Ale, you are probably familiar with Cascade hops.

Cascade hops were only release in 1972. Developed at Oregon State University as part of a USDA breeding program, it is now a mainstay of the brewing industry. It was bred not only for its unique sensory properties, but also its resistance to downy mildew.

They are a versatile hop and useful in a brew for a few reasons:

While only having moderate alpha acid levels compared to other varieties, the Cascade is still an effective hop for bittering. It forms the base of bitterness in a lot of popular beers.

Where the Cascade really shines as a hop though is providing flavor and aroma to your beer. Cascade hops have a distinctive floral, spicy and citrus flavor and aroma. This complexity allows brewers to make interesting beers without using too many hops. Because of the versatility of the hop that many brewers, commercial and homebrewer alike, use it as part of a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) recipe. Alternatively, it’s often paired with the other ‘C’ hops (Citra, Chinook, Columbus, and Centennial).

The cascade hop is a great hop to use for an APA and we love it. We love to get to know a hop by creating a SMaSH recipe using only that hop. Check out our Cascade IPA on our recipe page.

Do you use the Cascade hop? Let us know in the comments.

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