Cascade hops in the sunDecember is upon us so it’s time to do a hop profile. This month we’re doing a Cascade hop profile!

Honestly, we’re kind of surprised we haven’t done this one yet… after all, it’s Cascade! We use it in our own beer, enjoy it in many American style beers, and more. Cascade is such a famous hop, it almost doesn’t need an introduction. Cascade!

We decided to do Cascade this month because we wanted something for the holidays and something traditional. First we thought about doing a Noble Hop, but, upon doing some quick research on Christmas beers, Cascade kept coming up, mostly because of its spiciness. We don’t really think of Cascade as a “Christmas hop,” but let’s say it is for now. It’s December, we need a hop, Cascade is like a wonderful gift to the world… etc. etc. It works.

But really, we wouldn’t have modern craft  beer without Cascade. It’s been in so many of those early American craft beers that have really helped beer become a “thing” over the last few decades. It just wouldn’t have happened without Cascade.

Surprisingly, Cascade wasn’t released until 1972 (although it was bred earlier), and was originally bred off a Fuggle hop. Willamette is also related to the Fuggle variety; so maybe it’s something to do with U.S. hops from the North-West.

Cascade Hop Stats

Here’s the general stats on Cascade, if you just want to get down to it and brew:

  • Alpha acids: 5.5 – 9.0%
  • Aromas and flavours: spicy, floral, citrus, grapefruit 
  • Substitutions: Amarillo , Centennial
  • Common beer styles: Pale Ale, IPA, many others, particularly American styles
  • Uses: Flavour, aroma

Flavours in Cascade Hops

Cascade is a a stereotypical American hop.

As with so many hops from the Pacific North West, Cascade is full of plenty of citrus elements, but also presents plenty of floral elements and a little bit of spice. As with a lot of American hops, Cascade elicits a bit of pine to it as well.

Where this hop is set apart though is the grapefruit. It’s similar to other American hops, but it’s the subtle differences that set it apart.

Bottle of 4 Pines pale ale sitting on a shelfBeers with Cascade in them

Name almost any American beer and you’ll probably find Cascade in it.

For example, our American Pale Ale, the Priestly Pale Ale has plenty of Cascade in it. We add this for taste to add a nice grapefruit punch to the beer that can’t be found elsewhere. It really makes the beer.

A beer that is easy to get in Australia that have a big amount of Cascade in it is the 4 Pines Pale Ale. Unsurprisingly, this is an American style Pale Ale that really pushes all those great American flavours; the citrus and pine being a big aspect of them.

Of course one of the most famous American Pale Ales out there use ample amounts of Cascade as a finishing hop. This beer, of course, is the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It practically defines both the American Pale Ale style as well as the taste of Cascade hops.

Cascade is almost everywhere, and we’d all be really surprised if you haven’t heard of this hop. It’s a standard in so many beers these days, it’s hard to miss.

If you have a favourite beer that features Cascade hops well, be sure to leave it in the comment. Otherwise feel free to check out our other hop profiles, or general hops information.