Welcome to the first post in our Hop Profile Series. We will be featuring a different hop each month in these profiles to bring you the type, history, region and character of different varieties of our favorite ingredient.
This month we focus on a new, experimental hop that is showing up in IPAs across the country: Idaho-7.
Idaho-7 hops came on the scene very recently and first showed up in beer in 2015. An experimental hop grown at Jackson Hop Farm, Idaho-7 conforms well with current trends in IPAs. The state of Idaho is fast becoming an international player in the hop producing game with 8% of the U.S.-grown crop and 2% of the hops in the world. Idaho knows their hops, and Idaho-7 is its newest star.
Because of the early popularity of Idaho-7, Jackson Hop Farm has expanded from 5 to 100 acres of the crop, branching out to cultivate some in Washington as well. Jackson even looks to create some variance by planting in the Willamette Valley in Oregon in the future.
Idaho-7 is widely available in both cone and dry pellet form and is a great option for dry-hopping.
On the nose, this hop is heavy on tropical fruit and sweet pine with notes of citrus.
The flavor is complex and juicy, with a strong start of marmalade and apricot, developing into notes of light citrus and a hint of black tea. The delayed bitterness on the finish is waxy, but not overly bitter. The alpha acid content comes in around 14%, bringing enough bitterness to balance the juicy, fruity character of this hop.
Many breweries have included Idaho-7 in limited run single-hop IPAs. Sierra Nevada was the first widely known brewery to experiment with Idaho-7 in their Harvest Series in late 2015. Dogfish Head has also produced a single-hop IPA featuring this variety.
Idaho-7 is appearing in beers from from home brewers and big name craft breweries alike, and for good reason: it brings the crisp, fruity flavor with a pleasantly bitter finish that we can't put down.
To get the full Idaho-7 flavor, try these beers: