BEERISTA

The Irish Times Magazine - - DRINK - SOR­CHA HAMILTON @ ITbeerista beerista@ irish­times. com

Cas­cade was the hop that started the craft beer rev­o­lu­tion. Its bold, flo­ral and cit­rusy aroma changed the def­i­ni­tion of “hoppy”, ac­cord­ing to au­thor and ex­pert Stan Hierony­mus. Up un­til then, in­dus­trial brew­eries used the plant mainly for bit­ter­ing, but when smaller brew­ers started ex­per­i­ment­ing with hops for flavour and aroma as well as bit­ter­ness, the rise of the tasty beer be­gan.

Then along came Cen­ten­nial, also known as su­per Cas­cade be­cause it’s more in­tense, and oth­ers such as Amar­illo ( or­ange and cit­rus) and Sim­coe ( le­mon, pineap­ple and pine), and the dank, grassy va­ri­eties such as Chi­nook, Columbus, Apollo, and a whole rake more.

The rock star of the hop world, how­ever, is Ci­tra. It started out as the hum­ble HBC 394 and was re­leased com­mer­cially in the US in 2007. It has over­taken Cas­cade in pop­u­lar­ity, be­com­ing the poster child, says Hierony­mus, of flavour­some hops. Its de­li­cious, big juicy fruit pro­file co­in­cided with craft brew­ers ex­pand­ing be­yond the big and bit­ter- dom­i­nated beers and chas­ing more juicy IPA flavours.

Sis­ter hops Mo­saic and Aus­tralian Gal­axy are pretty pop­u­lar now too ( hop cones used for brew­ing are fe­male plants) but Ci­tra seems to be the one you hear more about th­ese days. Gal­way Bay Brewery has a new “all- Ci­tra” ses­sion IPA called Weights and Mea­sures that comes in a 440ml can. This has a lovely juicy, trop­i­cal fruit aroma – with a touch of sum­mery, freshly cut grass – and it’s light bod­ied at 3.9 per cent, pours a hazy, bright yel­low and fin­ishes with a low bit­ter­ness.

Hearts and Feints is the big­ger ver­sion of the ses­sion IPA, and also show­cases a love of the Ci­tra hop – in fact it’s the most hops they’ve used in mak­ing a beer, ac­cord­ing to Gal­way Bay Brewery.

“This tasty dou­ble IPA di­als up the notch on flavours and al­co­hol to be­come, sim­ply, “8.5 per cent of pure Ci­tra juice”.

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