With our recent release, NEO NOISE, appearing on your social media feeds, you may have noticed the term “Neomexicanus Hops” being mentioned. We’ll assume, as you’re here, that you know what hops are, but we thought it would be good to talk a little bit more about the lineage of Neomexicanus Hops.
What are Neomexicanus Hops?
We won’t list all of the Neomexicanus Hops, but you may have heard of some of them. Hops such as Sabro, Talus, El Dorado, are some popular picks - all of which feature in Neo Noise. We also won’t go into too much detail here - there are many blogs that do an amazing job of telling the story of these hops and so we’d rather point you in the direction of those, which we’ll link to at the end of the blog. However, we’ll give a basic overview for context!
Quite simply, Neomexicanus Hops are a subspecies hailing from the dry mountains of New Mexico, where they have grown wild for possibly a million years or more. In more modern times, these species have been taken and developed by growers in other areas as well, but the lineage remains.
Due to the conditions these hops not only thrived and developed in, but most importantly survived in, they’re hardy, need less water and don’t react well to some chemicals.
Whilst pretty much all US grown hops can trace their parents and lineage back to European hops, Neomexicanus are different. These hops grew wild, until they were foraged by homebrewer, Todd Bates, who started to grow them in his greenhouse. Through trial and error, he eventually bred some winning hops. He then worked with CLS Farms in the Yakima Valley to tame these wild hops and turn his breeding programme into a commercial scale project.
This birthed hops such as Zappa and Medusa. Sierra Nevada Brewing played a big part in highlighting these hops, and have made a number of single hop beers using Neomexicanus hops.
Why we choose Neomexicanus Hops
You may remember Neo Normal, which we released back in September 2020. Yakima Chief Hops were launching Talus, their new Neomexicanus hop, and asked a few breweries from around the world to help launch the product. We were delighted to represent the UK in brewing with that hop first.
We have remained in love with Talus for its pithy grapefruit and pine notes, amongst others. Yakima hop growers said it’s the first hop they’ve developed that retains its aromas from field to brew, and that’s an amazing feat. It brings super fresh flavours and it’s a great hop to experiment with.
Our Head Brewer, Sean Knight, says “Talus, along with Sabro and El Dorado are all incredible hops with really punchy characteristics to them that can create complexities in hoppy beers that are unique to the Neomexicanus hop family. Sometimes, just a dash of one of those hops can completely change a beer’s aroma and I love that."
Neo Noise loosely follows on from beers like Neo Normal in that we’re entirely playing around with Neomexicanus hops. Whereas other beers may use these hops for aroma, or as part of a wider hop bill, these beers laser their focus in on this specific group.
Unlike its West Coast inspired California IPA counterpart, Neo Noise finds its roots on the East Coast, with a gorgeous pale straw haze and soft mouthfeel.
Those distinct Talus aromas are amazing, with Sabro also helping to bring a punch of grapefruit to the nose. El Dorado brings big pineapple notes, whilst the Sabro also gives that classic touch of coconut. We know Sabro and the coconut link can put some off, but don’t let it. It’s there, but it’s subtle and it works. It’s a cocktail of juicy tropical flavours.
At just 4.7%, we think that Neo Noise belies its strength. You might expect a beer like this to come in at 5.5 - 7.0%, but the lower ABV keeps it refreshing and eminently drinkable. A beer you can return to for more.
The Future of these Hops
We can’t wait to see what hop farms come up with next. We love experimenting with new hops and the Neomexicanus lineage has given us some exciting crops.
Whatever we’re given to play with next, we’ll keep experimenting and having fun with these hops in the meantime, because we love them!
Click here to get Neo Noise online now, find it in the Siren Tap Yard or a good craft beer seller near you!
In reading up for this blog, these are the articles that I came across that I thought were great, both by Hollie Stephens. Check them out:
Beer & Brewing - https://beerandbrewing.com/the-rise-of-neomexicanus/