Rakau is a New Zealand gem, purpose bred and selected for its unique dual purpose brewing qualities and characteristics. Re-released in 2007 it gives delightful, deep aromas of passionfruit, apricot and other stone fruits along with notes of pine.
Pale Ale, Lager
Passionfruit, Pine, Apricot, Stone Fruit
Rakau is a New Zealand gem, purpose-bred and selected for its unique dual-purpose brewing qualities and characteristics. Re-released from the NZ Hop breeding programme in 2007 for trials under organics and now widely established under conventional cultivation, it gives delightful, deep aromas of passionfruit, apricot and other stone fruits along with notes of pine.
Rakau has an intensity of aroma unlike many other hops, lifted from a heavy weight of oils. Brewers agreed that the dominant fruitiness is that of fresh stone fruit such as apricot, with sensory panels scoring it highly on bitterness quality as well as unique fruity flavours and aromas, once described as “The whole orchard”.
Rakau features a high concentration of myrcene so is said to pair beautifully with dry-hopped American Pale Ales. New World styles of ales and lagers where intense, fruity characters and big, bold bitterness is required are also perfect brewing grounds for Rakau. It can also be readily used delicately for lighter styles, even with multiple kettle additions… a real treat is to test these experiences out for yourself and make something unique and delicious.
Rakau hops history
Rakau hops is a New Zealand-bred variety that was first released in 2001. It has a moderate alpha acid content of around 7%-10% and is known for its earthy, herbal, and spicy flavours. Rakau is often used in Pale Ales and IPAs, where it can add a touch of complexity to the finished beer.
Rakau hops are named after the Māori word for tree, and this variety grows best in temperate climates with cool summers and mild winters. It has an upright growth habit and produces large, cone-shaped flowers that are greenish-gold in colour. Rakau hops are also resistant to pests and disease, making them a popular choice for craft brewers.
Rakau hops as a substitute
Rakau hops are an excellent substitution for other hops varieties. They have a strong flavour and aroma, which makes them perfect for use in IPAs and other hop-forward beers. Rakau hops are also known for their ability to impart a tropical flavour and aroma to beer, which can be a great addition to styles like hefeweizen and Belgian wit.
What hops pair well with rakau?
There are many different hop varieties that pair well with rakau, but some of the most popular ones include Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook. These hops impart a citrusy, piney, or earthy flavour and aroma that pairs well with the woodsy character of rakau. brewers often use combinations of these hops to create unique beers that highlight the best aspects of both ingredients.