Sunday, May 03, 2009

Big Brew and The Desert Island Hop 5

In 1988, Congress designated May 7 as National Homebrew Day. To celebrate the event, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) created the Big Brew.

The Big BrewOn the first Saturday in May, groups of homebrewers worldwide meet at designated brewing sites to join in a collective toast and then brew one of several recipes selected by the AHA.

Apropos, Jeff Alworth at Beervana a few weeks ago wondered what five hop varietals he would want if he were stranded on a deserted lush island. His answer:

The list is predictable and pretty much maps to the major brewing regions, emphasis on NW (Cascades, Chinooks, Hallertauer, Kent Goldings, Saaz).

Hops at Green Spring Gardens

Homebrewer and writer Thomas Vincent at Geistbear Brewing Blog selected Fuggle, Saaz, Hallertau, Challenger, and Cascade.

My Desert Island 5 would be, in order:
  1. East Kent Goldings (for its buttery earthiness)
  2. Mount Hood (for its New World citrusy rendition of Old World spiciness)
  3. Zatec or Saaz (floral/spicy)
  4. New Zealand Hallertau (dark fruit)
  5. German Northern Brewer (piney).
I might add (grapefruity) Cascade as an honorable mention if only for its US brewing ubiquity. But, no, I would not choose some of its pungent US brethren. Please, no cat-litter box aromas for me.

Jeff notes, with evident relief:
But you know, then I think: thank god I don't have to limit myself to just five hop varieties.

Brewer or drinker: what would be your choices?

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