At YCH HOPS, we are committed to providing our customers with a large selection of high quality hops in order to bring innovative brewing ideas to life. We would not be able to accomplish this without the support of our growers and hop breeders that are dedicated to keeping up with this evolving industry through the development and growth of new hop varieties.
“The world of brewing is more diverse than ever with regard to both brewers and the beers they make,” says Jason Perrault, breeder and CEO of Select Botanicals Group (SBG). “New hops allow brewers to differentiate and remain competitive by satisfying the beer lovers’ desire for new flavors and aromas. They’re the artists, we simply supply some of the paint. Continued breeding therefore represents an evolving source of innovation for brewers.”
In order to ensure that new commercial hop varieties are successful and meet the needs of brewers, SBG aims to achieve one or more major goals during the breeding process before releasing each new variety. These goals include achieving traditional aroma with improved efficiency, special (unique) aromas, efficient alpha hops, as well as germplasm development for disease resistance and other novel traits.
For example, the Simcoe®, Mosaic® and HBC 366 (formerly known as Equinox) brands were chosen for commercial release because they fulfilled specific breeding goals. Simcoe® was selected based upon it’s unique aroma combined with high alpha and low co-humulone. This combination results in a very versatile, yet distinct hop. Mosaic®, daughter of Simcoe®, was chosen for its unique aromatics, good yield and powdery mildew resistance. HBC 366 is the daughter of Warrior® and a male found growing on a commercial hop anchor. The objectives of the cross included the alpha of Warrior® with higher yield, and development of novel traits through the relatively unknown male. The result was a high yield, high alpha, aromatic hop with unique plant coloring inherited from the father.
While these major goals remain consistent over the years, objectives for each new release can also be driven by increased demand for specific aromas or a disease outbreak in a popular variety. Therefore, the breeding process and introduction of new hop varieties is important to both brewers and growers alike, as breeders work to create efficient solutions throughout the entire supply chain. The varieties in SBG’s breeding program are developed and released through their partnership in the Hop Breeding Company.
“From a production standpoint, hops are under constant attack from numerous pests and pathogens resulting in reduced yield and quality,” says Jason Perrault. “These pest populations are dynamic and are naturally inclined to find ways to overcome our control measures, including resistance in the plant. Control of these pests requires significant chemical and physical inputs which increase costs and can have a negative impact on human and environmental health. Continued breeding is needed to identify and incorporate novel sources of resistance in the plants. Moreover, breeding can provide solutions to potential problems in the future such as severe drought or help us maximize asset utilization (e.g. improving yield or broadening picking windows).”
“In these ways, breeding helps us manage our environmental and economic resources in the most efficient and responsible ways, thus making it a foundational component in our collective sustainability efforts.”
For these many reasons, introducing new hop varieties has become a valuable aspect to both the hop and brewing industries. As a grower-owned hop supplier, we look forward to learning about the exciting new hop varieties our growers our developing, from super alpha varieties to exceptionally unique aroma hops, and even more, we look forward to supplying new varieties to our customers and tasting the great beers that are brewed from them.
To place an order for Simcoe®, Mosaic®, HBC 366, Palisade® or any available HBC experimental varieties, please visit our Spot Availability page.