A newly released USDA hop variety named Santiam offers brewers and
beer drinkers the prized aromas until now found only in hops from
Germanys Tettnang region. Hops supply beers distinctive
aroma and the zesty bitterness that balances the sweetness of the
malted barley. Scientists with the Agricultural
Research Service in Corvallis, Ore., released the new hop.
Although beer recipes are industry secrets, youve likely
enjoyed the taste and aroma qualities provided by ARS hops. At least
one-third of the hops in American brews have ARS origins. U.S. growers
produce one-fourth of the worlds hops, and many foreign beers
also include ARS-released hops.
In 1997, ARS varieties made up 64 percent of all U.S. hop acreage,
worth about $76 million of the $117 million industry.
While the original Tettnanger variety can be grown here, it does not
yield as well as in its homeland. Santiam yields twice as much as
Tettnanger when grown in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, the prime
hop-growing areas in the U.S.
Santiam is also the worlds first naturally seedless
Tettnang-type hop. Brewers want seedless hops because seeds can add
undesired oils to beer. Seeds also add useless weight, complicating
pricing negotiations between brewers and growers.
What Else is Hoppin' at ARS? Read
a trade-press advisory about Horizon,
another new ARS hop.
With this new variety, ARS has provided domestic alternatives to all
three premier European aroma hops--Tettnanger, Hallertau and Saaz. Mt.
Hood, released by ARS in 1989, brought the German Hallertau
mittelfrueh lineage to U.S. hops. Other Mt. Hood descendants, Liberty
(1991) and Crystal (1993), also incorporate Hallertau genetics. Ultra,
released by ARS in 1995, includes both Hallertau and the Czech Saaz
hops in its pedigree.
Growers and brewers should contact their local hop brokers to obtain
Santiam and other ARS hops. Researchers can obtain small quantities
from the ARS laboratory at Corvallis.