beer reviews

Single hop beers: educational

A hop flower (from Wikimedia Commons, photographed by LuckyStar).

York Brewery occasionally produce beers using only a single varieties of hop. Their latest effort, Perle (4%), uses only that famous German ‘noble’ hop. The pump clip is adorned with German flags, and it’s hard not to suspect that the beer was inspired by a trip to Duesseldorf.

The fact that only one type of hop is used meant that we were able to focus on and appreciate its coppery, dry flavour and retrospectively recognise it as one we’d come across in various German beers. We’re learning, one hop at a time.

York are to be applauded for this kind of thought-provoking experiment. But don’t get the idea it was a purely intellectual exercise: hops aside, it’s a really tasty beer.

12 replies on “Single hop beers: educational”

I’ve had a couple of single hoppers recently and enjoy them for the fact that you can understand exactly how that hop variety lends it flavour to beer. The Mikkeller ones are good, but pretty much in your face. The Simcoe was like licking a pine tree, but at least now I can recognise simcoe in my beer.

I hope more breweries do single hop beers to showcase the varieties.

From a purely selfish point of view, I do love single-hops beers , for much the same reasons as yourself. Firstly, I have been been brewing AG beers at home for about 6 months now and found that brewing single hop beers a really valuable lesson to develop both my nose and knowledge. Secondly, I think it’s a sign of breweries’ nous to brew a great single-hop beer. gives them nothing to hide behind, if you know what I mean. I do love a single hop beer – York’s Crystal was the last one of thier range I tried.

Slight aside. Just put on their Guzzler tonight. Packed with flavour and only 3.6% abv. If only more breweries emulated this.

Look out for the Acorn Brewery range of IPA’s they are on there third year now, and about half way through the european varieties

Ben — we’re pretty much fans of everything we’ve tried from York. Guzzler’s a great one.

CB — I’d love to try them all stacked up against each other. That really would be educational.

Leigh — you’re right, it reflects well on the brewer, without scaring away ‘normal’ drinkers: it’s geeky without being extreme.

Mark — not tried any of the Mikkeler ones. It’s about time we went on a weird beer shopping trip somewhere to restock the cellar.

If your ever up in York take the opportunity to visit the York Brewery, great brewery based inside the city gates with a fantastic brewery tap and nice friendly staff working the bar and brewing.

We tried last time we were in York, but they weren’t due to open for another hour or so, and we had to be elsewhere. We’ll definitely go back to York, though, as it’s one of our favourite beery destinations.

I’ve heard of an Italian micro that brews several batches of the same recipe but changing the hops for each one. That would be something really interesting to taste.
It seems they also brew several batches of the same recipe, but changing the yeast strain. Out of topic, but still bloody interesting.

PF — we’ve tried similar things at home with dry-hopping, but haven’t yet been arsed to do two whole boils with different hops. We will get round to it, though.

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