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Tettnang Aromas from Germany Now Available in U.S. HopsBy Kathryn Barry Stelljes
May 4, 1998
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?
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.