Simcoe hops are one of the most popular varieties of hop used by craft and homebrewers. It has a strong flavour profile, which includes spicy aromas and flavours, citrusy notes, and piney characteristics.
However, don’t confuse Simcoe for just one type of hop. It can be used in a wide range of beer styles and is usually used in conjunction with Cascade, Centennial, Chinnock, and Citra hops.
It’s been one of the most popular and best-selling varieties since its introduction. It’s not just in America, where Simcoe has become a popular hop variety. In 2014, BrewDog in Scotland claimed it was one of the largest buyers of Simcoe hops worldwide.
The 2015 Hop Acres Report (PDF) shows increased acreage dedicated to Simcoe hops from 2014 to 2015. In Idaho, Oregon planted their first 189 acres of Simcoes, and Washington’s acreage increased by 58%.
Combine these things, and you get an impressive increase from 1,886 to 3,200!
Flavour & Aroma Profile of Simcoe Hops
Simcoe has become one of today’s most popular craft beer and homebrewing hops. Although Simcoe is typically added during the final stages of fermentation, brewers can also add it earlier in the boil.
Simcoe is often likened to Cascade, sometimes called “Cascade on steroids.” It is described as fruity and earthy, carrying notes of berry, peach, apricot, and citrus, but it also has pronounced aromas reminiscent of pine and woodsy soil. Its flavour and aroma are very complex and unique.
Simcoe can impart flavours of stone fruits, such as apricot, peach, and nectarine.
Brewing Values for Simcoe Hops
Typical alpha acid levels of Simcoe are around 10% – 15%. Beta acids are usually between 2% and 4%, while the remaining percentage consists of other compounds such as polyphenols and resins.
As mentioned above, Simcoe is often used to dry hop beers. This is done to add additional aromas and flavours to the finished product.
Simcoe is a hop known for creating a very clean, crisp bitterness. It is also commonly used in American IPAs and pale ales, where it adds a nice balance between the malt and hop flavours. In addition to being great for hoppy beers, Simcoe works well in sweet and sour styles because of its ability to create a clean bitterness without any off-flavours.
Simcoe is an excellent choice for those who want to brew hoppy ales or lagers. It works exceptionally well with other aromatic varieties such as Amarillo, Centennial, Chinook, Citra, Mosaic, Nugget, Palisade, Willamette, and Warrior.
There aren’t any actual Simcoe clones out there. The closest substitute for Simcoe would probably be a combination of Cascade, Centennial, and Amarillo or Columbus.
Beer Styles using Simcoe Hops
In the US, brewers have been using Simcoe hops in various styles, including pale ales, IPAs, porters, stouts, wheat beers, Belgian strong dark ales (BSDA), and English brown ales, and even some fruit beers. In Europe, Simcoe is more common in German-style lager and bock beers.
Homebrewers also frequently use Simcoe to make IPAs and other hoppy beers. These include:
German Helles Lager
Munich Dunkel Lager
Wildflower Honey Wheat
Where to buy Simcoe Hops
At Brook House Hops, we supply Simcoe from Yakima Chief Hops and offer a range of Simcoe products at competitive prices. Please contact us via email or phone if you want to learn more about our Simcoe products.
We supply commercial brewers in the UK with Simcoe in whole-cone, T90 or Cryo forms, and we can honestly say that we are the best place to buy Simcoe hops online in the UK.
What do Simcoe hops taste like?
The bitterness level of Simcoe hops varies depending on the style of beer. In general, however, Simcoe hops tend to be more bitter than Cascade hops.