Let’s talk hops with a Fuggles hop profile: we’ll go through some of the common uses for Fuggles, what flavours brewers can get out of it, and all the rest!
Fuggles is a war horse that has served its time in many English beer varieties, especially some of the area’s darker beers. She was also brought to the New World to become the mother of the wonderful Willamette Hop. This hop has been around the block and just keeps going. Sure, it’s not winning any awards for being new or different, but Fuggles is reliable and she knows what she’s doing.
Fuggles Hops Stats
Here’s the general stats on Fuggles, if you just want to get down to it and brew:
- Alpha acids: 3.5-5.5%
- Aromas and flavours: mild grass and earth as well as florals and herbs
- Substitutions: Willamette, Styrian Golding
- Common beer styles: Many English style ales but mostly porter, bitter, stout
- Uses: taste and aroma due to the low alpha acids
Flavours in Fuggles Hops
Fuggles is really an all rounder for taste and aroma and has helped to form the “standard” taste in many popular styles of beer. This one will be hard to pinpoint in a beer because it just sits in a beer so well. It’s as if beer was designed around the use of Fuggles hops, and it kind of was.
The main flavour and aroma that is often touted for Fuggles in its hop profile is mild grass and earth. This is a pleasant taste and aroma that reminds the drinker of freshness and countryside living. Grassy beer is not usually a good thing, and this is a fault that comes from other problems. The subtle earthiness of Fuggles is a great one.
Other aspects of the Fuggles hop profile is its florals and slight herbs. It’s all very traditional and Old World. Unlike like the bigger more fruit driven hops of the New World.
Fuggles is a wide ranging hop that really rounds out a beer’s taste or aroma. Throw this one in for dry hopping as well to add some nice scents to the nose.
Beers with Fuggles in Them
As mentioned, Fuggles has made its way into many beers over the years and will continue to do so.
Our most recent Beer of the Month, Mountain Goat’s Captain Amylase Rum Porter showcases Fuggles. Unsurprisingly, Mountain Goat has chosen to showcase the hop in a darker beer (a porter) with many other flavours taking centre stage over the hop. Fuggles, sadly, is often pushed aside by bigger flavours. But she comes from a time of less hop forward beers and plays well with others. Fuggles hops are there to compliment, not to be the star.
English beers are not shy about using Fuggles to give that typical English taste. There’s something about the English and less flamboyant flavours. It’s always understated. One of these examples is the Theakston Old Peculiar. While maybe not the best bitter out there, it’s called “The Legend” for a reason. This is just a prime example of an old fashioned English bitter and shows how Fuggles likes to fit in effortlessly.
Going to the United States, Goose Island proudly display Fuggles and its wonderful hop profile in their Nut Brown Ale and their Oatmeal Stout. Once again, here the hop is being shown off in a dark beer; it’s not being the main component, but part of a larger whole.
We have yet to develop a home brew recipe showcasing Fuggles, but we have some ideas on a coffee porter that may pop up soon. Since it’s not a big hop, it will go well with the more overt coffee flavours of a big porter like that.
What’s your favourite beer that showcases Fuggles well?