Azacca, Azzaca, Azzacca, Azaca... Shining the light on the most misspelled hop since Ekuanot.
Without them, none of us would be here. You wouldn’t be reading this blog, I wouldn’t have written it, this website wouldn’t exist and we’d all be meeting up with friends to chat over a… flavoured water?
I dunno, whatever that world is it’s not one I want to know about. Hops make our world go round.
With our latest release, we’re shining the light on one of our new favourite hops: Azacca. We first used Azacca in April 2019 in a Calypso brew, followed up by a Suspended in... beer in June. Since then we’ve gone on to use it in a number of beers, including In The Belly of a Shark, The Bonnie Situation and its own Suspended in brew.
It’s in a few of our new releases, including The Abyssal Zone, a 10% Baltic Porter collaboration with Salt Beer Factory (coming soon!) and two beers released next week: Refractions (now in cans!) and our latest IPA: Azaccattack.
So let’s have a deeper look at Azacca!
Firstly, you need to know how hops are developed, because this stuff is no accident. Hop growth is an incredible science, with plants grown to produce specific flavours and brewing qualities, such as bittering or aroma.
Azacca Hops first made it to market in 2013, having been initially known as #483 (catchy, right?). Hops often have code names or experimental names before going out to market. It was bred by the American Dwarf Hop Association, and comes from a varied lineage, but one that includes Northern Brewer hops on the “Mother” side and Summit hops on the “Father” side.
I don’t use the term mother and father glibly. Hop plants are ‘dioecious’, which means that scientifically we have male and female flowers, on male and female plants. In the wild, this doesn’t mean that hops match on tinder and have a fumble in the back of the cinema. Breeding occurs via pollination, from male to female plants. For brewing, and commercial hop growing, this is not the ideal process, as it’s the female plants that produce cones.
At commercial plants, you will only see female plants, often bred to be asexual.
For more on this process, I highly recommend a tour of a hop farm if you can get one!
So back to Azacca!
Named after the Haitian God of agriculture, it was designed for big citrus and tropical fruit notes, as well as big aromas. It is a great dual purpose hop, for bittering and flavour and this makes it a great hop for late and dry-hop additions and is suitable for a variety of beer styles.
In Azaccattack, we have also used a touch of Amarillo and Citra to really give this beer a big hop punch. Of course, the aroma of those gorgeous hops is the first thing to hit you, and the cleverly bred combination of citrus and tropical fruits definitely shines.
To taste, the malt bill provides the perfect soft mouthfeel, backed up with flavours of mango, pineapple and tangerine, with balanced pine and bitterness.
It’s delicious and you’ll want another. It’s available from Monday, but will be in the webshop from Friday 14th - our Valentine’s day gift to you.
Not only that, REFRACTIONS, which is now in can, and also features Azacca hops, will be on the webshop at the same time.