Cascade Hops are synonymous with the American Pale Ale, and the citrusy and piney aroma that it lends to a beer is distinctive and very popular with brewers. Surprisingly Stone Brewing Co had never used cascade hops in any of their beers until 2012! According to The Stone Blog when Stone founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner were developing their signature Pale Ale they wanted to be sure to distance it from the popular Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and so they chose a very different hop schedule centered on Columbus hops. And for over the next 15 years they never used the popular Cascade variety.
This year that changed with the 2012 release of their mercurial Old Guardian Barley Wine; a beer they brew a little differently for every vintage. Stone followed up with the newest beer in their collaboration series called TBA, brewed with Bear Republic and Fat Head’s Brewery out of Cleveland, Ohio. We sampled the very hop-forward and Texas Brown Ale during the New Zealand Beer tasting and found it to be interesting and worth seeking out.
Stone’s Brewmaster Mitch Steele says there are no definitive plans to use Cascade hops again in the future, but that he is a fan of the variety and would be happy to work it into another brew.
- Sierra Nevada’s signature Pale Ale is a halmark of Cascade hops in Craft Beer, and Cascade also features prominently in Bear Republic’s excellent Racer 5 IPA.
- Another distinctive example of Columbus hops is the Hanger 24 single-hop Columbus IPA
- If you enjoy the Stone Barley Wine, try Firestone Walker’s Sucaba, a barrel-aged English-style barley wine.