Hop-epedia Project: Simcoe

Next up on the Hop-epedia Project: Simcoe® hops. Known as “Cascade on Steroids”, Simcoe is a dual-purpose variety. Its relatively high alpha acid content means it imparts plenty of bitterness; but its low cohumulone content translates to more of a clean bitterness than high-cohumulone hops. Myrcene constitutes a very high percentage of its essential oil content, which means…oh, hell if I know…but it’s somehow responsible for the aroma. And it has a nice aroma/flavor, which is why all the cool kids these days are using Simcoe.

I got angel poke, bennies, kentucky blue, and some High-Myrcene Simcoe.

Generally, one will find that Simcoe imparts a woody/piney and citrusy quality. To a lesser extent, there can also be a certain spiceyness to them at times (much like Cascade). Also, I often pick up the smell of peaches and apricots in Simcoe beers. I thought I was crazy, but after a Sierra Nevada Hoptimum-related Twitter exchange with DrinkBlogRepeat, and after trolling homebrewtalk.com, I discovered that I’m not alone. Mmmm, I love me a ripe peach…

I have also heard you can get passionfruit from Simcoe, but I don’t know what the hell a passion fruit tastes like. And Whole Paycheck isn’t getting them in for another couple weeks. I will report back if I find one; but, in the meantime, they look like this:

Of unknown planetary origin.

Some Simcoe beers:
Bells HopSlam is dry-hopped to high heaven with Simcoe. I always get a huge, intoxicating peach aroma.
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum uses Simcoe (in addition to their super-secret proprietary varieties) late in the boil and to dry hop.
Lagunitas Hop Stoopid – Lagunitas allegedly released their recipe for this, and it includes Simcoe as a late addition and to dry hop.
Lagunitas Maximus is speculation on my part, but several homebrew clone recipes call for Simcoe in the dry hop.
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe is solely Simcoe. This one is curious, though. It has a significant malt base with a distinct sweet, caramel flavor, so it is not hugely hop forward for an American IPA. No peaches, but there is definitely citrus, pine, and a tropical fruit character (perhaps this is the elusive passionfruit).
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Peak Organic Simcoe Spring
Snake River Brewery Pako’s IPA
Fat Head’s Head Hunter (I need to get my hands on this)
Firetstone Walker Union Jack bitters and dry hops with Simcoe (amongst other hops).
Firestone Walker Double Jack dry hops with Simcoe (amongst other hops).

Specs from USA Hops variety manual
Simcoe® (YCR 14 cv.) is a bittering/aroma variety bred by Yakima Chief Ranches and released in 2000. It is used for its bittering properties and aroma qualities that impart a unique, pine-like aroma. It is very popular in American style Ales.

Yield (kilos per hectare) 1,905 – 2,240
Yield (lbs per acre) 1,700 – 2,000
Alpha Acids 12 – 14%
Beta Acids 4.0 – 5%
Cohumulone (% of alpha acids) 15 – 20%
Total Oils (Mls. per 100 grams dried hops) 2.0 – 2.5
Myrcene (as % of total oils) 60 – 65%
Caryophyllene (as % of total oils) 5.0 – 8%
Humulene (as % of total oils) 10 – 15%
Farnesene (as % of total oils) 0.0%
Storage (% alpha acids remaining after 6 months storage at 20° C) Good
Possible Substitutions: Summit, Magnum


6 thoughts on “Hop-epedia Project: Simcoe

  1. Once again, the awesomeness of this series of posts can not be over stated. I’ve had a few beers with simcoe and have never gotten the peach you describe. Probably a combination of it not being very apparent in the beers I tried, and me not knowing to look for it. I will keep a “nose out” for it moving forward. Great job!

    • Thanks! Much appreciated. I don’t know if you’ve got any Hoptimum left, but I definitely smelled it in that (after I waded through all the other goodness).

  2. I do love me some Simcoe hops. I always translate the citrus to a grapefruit kinda character, but then, I’m rarely able to differentiate between different fruits like a lot of folks. I will say that when I brewed a batch of single hop Simcoe IPA, it was super grapefruitiy for the first couple of weeks, but the pine has been emerging more with time.

    Speaking of single-hopped Simcoe beers, there are a bunch of them out there. Pretty much anyone who does a series of single-hopped beers will include Simcoe as one of the varieties – Mikkeller and Sam Adams Latitude come to mind. I remember reading about someone else releasing a variety pack of single hopped IPAs, but I don’t remember who. I know Sly Fox and Troegs have done small Scratch batches of a bunch of single hopped beers, including Simcoe…

    And I’m pretty sure Dogfish’s whole minute series includes Simcoe (though it’s mixed with a bunch of others).

    • I looked back at your old Simcoe posts while doing my research.

      I didn’t realize Latitude was… I will have to add the ones you mention. I need to start including Mikkeller single hop. They seem to be hard to find, and I thought they were just a one-off deal. But apparently they’re not a one-off, and I include other beers that are hard to find….

      And I have been a little inconsistent on the suggested beers. I had been only doing ones I have tried, but I have recently slipped in a couple that I haven’t (like Head Hunter)…So, perhaps I should just abandon that rule.

      Thanks for your continuing contributions to Hop-epedia!

  3. I agree with Ed: I really enjoy the Hop-epedia Project–very good reference and I have most of this series bookmarked as they come out! I must love Simcoe because most of the brews you mentioned in this post I have enjoyed…except the one you seek. I was not impressed with Head Hunter and found its perfume scent to overpower my nose. I also found that aroma to inundate the taste. It WAS at a Beer Fest & maybe I thought I was getting the Head Hunter but actually got someone’s Lavender-infused home brew–it WAS towards the end of the night! 😛 (Whole Paycheck! That’s funny! I love that store, but you are absolutely right!)

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