The Basic Statistics

Alpha Acids 2.4 – 6.1%
Purpose Bittering, Flavour, Aroma
Country of Origin United States
Substitutes Summit, Combo
Suitable Beer Styles IPA, IIPA, American Pale Ale

About Simcoe

Simcoe hops used to be one of two hops that were highly sought after by brewers in the United States. The other being Amarillo. It’s not hard to see why. Sometimes referred to as “Cascade on steroids”, it’s not without its detractors. One unpleasant sensory note often observed is a cat urine flavour or catty scent. Some people are too close to their felines…

Despite this cattiness, Simcoe has fought through the bad and is known for a smooth bitterness, similar to Magnum. Where it differs though is being able to impart both fruity and earthy aroma and flavour. On the nose you can also get some pine coming through. It’s a complex flavoured hop, but it also works well in conjunction with others. Think Citra, Chinook, Cascade and Centennial.

Simcoe is a trademarked hop that means no one except the few who hold the patent know where it’s come from. No doubt, there’s people who are growing it that don’t even know where it comes from. It was first released in 2000 by the Select Botanicals Group, released through Yakima Chief Ranches. You can’t grow it because rhizomes are not available.

Using Simcoe in a brew can be done at all stages. While it’s possible to use it as a single hop variety, it’s usually used with others. There’s no direct substitute, but a combination of a few hops can probably do the trick. Summit hops are mentioned as a decent substitute, but not really able to be used exactly the same as the bitterness is not as smooth.

All in all, a great hop to use and one that compliments beers such as IPA, IIPA, American Pale Ales and Wild Ales.

More Information

Want to know more?

Ipswich Brewers Union has monthly meetings where we discuss all aspects of home brewing beer. Learn more about malt, hops, yeast and more by coming along! Visit our Events page to find out when the next meeting is on, or hit the Facebook icon below!