Part of my series on neomexicanus hops.
Those of you who have been reading the site for a while know that I like to keep tabs on all things Neomexicanus (a newly cultivated hop variety that is native to the South Western United States). A few years ago it was possible to find a handful of hop growers willing to sell Neomexicanus rhizomes/crowns, but a handful of big breweries (namely, Sierra Nevada) recently discovered the variety and many of the growers went underground to focus on commercializing their crops. Thus, for the last handful of years unless you knew someone who managed to snag a plant a few years ago and was willing to share you were out of luck if you wanted to grown your own.
Well, good news everyone: I just got word that Great Lakes Hops has field-grade Neomexicanus crowns available for purchase again! It’s still early enough that if you order and plant ASAP you might get a small harvest and you will come out strong for next year. Here is a quick rundown of the available varieties with descriptions from Great Lakes Hops:
Native southwest hop variety from the genus H. neomexicana. Hop variety with deeply cut leaves and an early cone maturity. Heat & drought tolerant. New species / variety currently being evaluated in our Michigan trials. Could possibly be grown better without drip irrigation. Cold hardiness is still questionable.
Aroma: Earthy, strong orange citrus notes- however quite harsh
Multihead hops are part of a collection of wild neo. Mexicana hops. (see Amallia & Neo 1 descriptions) It is noted for its unusual genetic aberration which is expressed as a combined cone with multiple tips. Very heat & drought tolerant.
Aroma: Quite intense citrus with fruity tropical notes, peachy if used earlier in the boil.
This is the variety that Sierra Nevada used in their Wild Harvest IPA a few years ago. My take was that it had an interesting strawberry/peachy/herbal hop aroma–I enjoyed it quite a bit. CLS Farms has a commercial variety of this hop called Medusa, but as far as I am aware it is not available for growing (or brewing).
A hop based off breeding and selection from native H. neomexicana hops found naturally in the desert Southwest. Very heat and drought tolerant and actually dislikes drip irrigation or wet soils. Day length requirements are very short for this species and plants may initiate cones too early in Northern latitudes. We advise trimming off the first initial growth to time burr initiation dates properly. Native wild species from the SW USA- See Amallia ; its sister selection.
Aroma: Reported as bright super lemon, citrus – however quite harsh
A buddy of mine gave me a crown he cultivated last fall (pictured above), so I can assure you this little fella is a voracious grower even all the way down in Southern California. Really looking forward to my harvest this year, I will be sure to let you know how it turns out!
A collected wild neo, Mexicana species from Colorado. It displays better tolerance to cold and moisture than other neo. Mex. types. It has large cones with the typical high cohumulone levels of the species and strong citrus aromas. Compare to Amallia, Neo 1, and Multihead. Grows best at mid to lower latitudes. Early to mid-season maturity. Water and fertilizer should be metered over time in smaller quantities than most commercial hops.
Aroma: “Strong citrus aromas.”
Also, come see me talk at Homebrew Con this coming Saturday, June 11th! I will be doing a roundtable on Homebrew Blogging from 9:00 am – 10:00 am in rooms 324-326 with fellow bloggers Marshall Schott from Brulosophy (perhaps you have heard of him), Ed Coffey from Ales Of The Riverwards, and Matt Humbard from PhD In Beer. I know, I know, 9:00 AM after club night is not an optimal time, but I guarantee you will have a great time! I like to think of the spot as “Carte Blanche Funtime Hour,” so don’t miss it!