Part of my series on neomexicanus hops.
I am a firm believer that there is a certain terroir that should go into the beers you make. The local combinations of water, malt, hops, and yeast created the beer styles we know and love today; true ingenuity comes from working to make the best with what you have. To this end, I am constantly on the lookout for truly local ingredients to use in my beers. This usually means using San Diego tap water, California grown barley, and yeast from White Labs. But where are you, sweet hops? Am I forever doomed to use varieties derived from European lupulus hops?
If you recall from my primer on neomexicanus hops, the genesis of this series occurred at the end of 2014 when I was tipped-off about a monastery in New Mexico that had successfully cultivated and began selling homebrew-sized batches of neomexicanus hops from their website. I was intrigued: here was a a brand-new set of hops that no one has even heard of from a variety that is 100% native to the American Southwest; up until this point, the only reference to neomexicanus I had seen was as a footnote in Stan Hieronymus‘ For the Love of Hops. At $8.33/oz shipped these might be the most expensive hops anyone has ever purchased, but my curiosity had gotten the better of me and I picked up 3 oz each of Chama (“citrusy, herbal, fruity”) and Latir (“spicy, herbal, flowery”).
As a way to justify the cost I resolved to do a bit of research and share the details, which became this series. Due to travel and the holiday season it took me a longer to actually brew with the hops than I was anticipating, but I am excited to finally share the review of my batch made with Chama hops. Stay tuned in the near future for my review of the Latir hops.
The Holy Hops website does not have the same broad analysis of the composition of Chama that they have for Latir, but they do provide the following. Interesting to note the high levels of beta acids, which are about the highest I recall seeing.
Availability: Holy Hops
Description: Citrusy, herbal, fruity.
HSI: 22.1% (stores decently)