Nick Carr on October 17, 2017 0 Comments History of Azacca Hops If you are into the craft beer scene at all, chances are you’ve heard of the Azacca hop variety. It made quite the splash when first released to the market back in 2013. Big name craft breweries — most notably, Founders Brewing — took notice of the new hop, increasing the varieties popularity further by releasing brews showcasing Azacca’s big citrus and tropical fruit aromas. Azacca was bred by the American Dwarf Hop Association (ADHA); the same place that brought us the Summit variety back in 2003. The ADHA is an organization whose goals include breeding durable hop varieties adapted to different growing regions; with good disease resistance and interesting aromas. They believe in sustainable growing practices and focus particularly on dwarf or low trellis varieties. Azacca’s mother was a Toyomidori plant; a variety produced in Japan whose lineage includes Northern Brew. The father is an unknown variety designated simply as 94/95, but its lineage includes Summit. It was known simply as #483 until it was released and named for the Haitian Loa, or spirit, of Agriculture. According to this site, Azacca can be described as: “Presides over the ancient, profound bonds between Earth and agricultural people. He is the divine country cousin and something of a trickster. He is generous, hardworking, good-natured, and protective, but if he’s not well fed or considers himself disrespected, he can be mean and vicious.” Seems about right, treat the hop with the proper respect and it will give you something great. This is pretty much the golden rule for life, really. Since Azacca’s release its popularity as grown exponentially. The USDA 2016 Hop Report (PDF) has it expanding from 79 acres in 2014 to 175 acres in 2015, and finally 506 acres in 2016. There was a yield of 1,870 pounds per acre last year, or roughly 946,000 lbs produced in total. With a near 3x increase in production from the year before, it’s clear that this variety is not going away anytime soon. How to Brew Beer With Azacca Hops Unfortunately, Azacca is a patented variety and rhizomes are not available to the public. But, for anyone that is interested in growing their own backyard hops, it is recommended that you start by talking with local growers or someone at your local homebrew supply. This will give you a better idea of which particular varieties will grow well in the climate around your home. Acid Composition Breakdown Alpha Acid: 14 – 16% Beta Acid: 4.0 – 5.5% Co-Humulone: 38 – 45% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 1.6 – 2.5 mL/100g Myrcene Oil: 46 – 55% (of total) Humulene Oil: 14 – 18% (of total) Caryophyllene Oil: 8 – 12% (of total) Franesene Oil: <1% (of total) B-Pinene Oil: ? Linalool Oil: ? Geraniol Oil: ? General Characteristics: I’ve found it to be rather difficult to gather a whole lot of information about the plant characteristics of Azacca hop variety. If any readers can fill in the blanks, please leave a comment down below. Growth Rate — ? Yield — Medium; 1,800 – 2,000 lbs/acre Cones — ? Maturity — Mid to Late Season Susceptible to — ? Resistant to — ? Ease of Harvest — ? Storage — Good; retains ≈75% alpha acid content after 6 months storage at 68°F I would encourage you to take a look at the photo of Azacca featured by the ADHA. It’s has quite a unique hue, with distinctly dark, almost purplish, leaves contrasted by the usual light green cones. Sensory Description: Amazingly refreshing aroma; descriptions usually include mango, papaya, orange, grapefruit, lemon, pine, spice, pineapple, grassy, tropical fruit, and citrus. Availability: Because of Azacca’s popularity it is very easy to find in both in whole cone and pellet form. It is likely your favorite homebrew supply shop will have them, or will be able to get them for you, but if they can’t for some reason it won’t be hard to get a hold of online. Here’s a list on Amazon Prime. Use: Azacca is a dual purpose hop that leans toward late additions and dry-hopping. Its high alpha acid content and intensely tropical fruit aroma’s make it an exceptional choice for a single hopped beer. Though it can be used for bittering, Azacca truly finds a special place in the late additions. Using it during the whirlpool or as dry-hopping, and it will bring its full tropical fruitiness to life. It is noted by some brewers to sometimes bringing the malt flavors forward. There may be some risk of overplaying the fruitiness if this hop is used heavily in a beer that will end up with a higher amount of esters due to the yeast used. Can Substitute With/For These Hops: Unfortunately, there are no good substitutes for Azacca. Common Beer Styles Using Azacca Hops: IPAs & Double IPAs American Pale Ale Saison American Sours Fruit Beers American Wild Ales Commercial Examples: To help you gain a better idea of this hop’s aroma and flavor I would recommend you sample as many of these as you can find. This, ummm… research will deepen your understanding of how Azacca works in different beer styles and what other varieties might be good accompaniments. Tasting is a starting point when it comes to your own homebrewing ideas. Uses Only Azacca: Azacca IPA from Founders Brewing Company (Seasonal) Grizacca from Oxbow Brewing Company Hop Sour: Azacca from Almanac Brewing Company Azacca IPA from Diamond Knot Brewing Company Combines Azacca With Other Hop Varieties: Hop Ranch from Victory Brewing Company — Also uses Citra, Chinook, and Mosaic. Lil’ Heaven Session IPA from Two Roads Brewing Company — Also uses Calypso, Mosaic, and Equinox. Baked Goods from Clown Shoes Brewing Compan —- Also uses Mosaic, Idaho 7, and Centennial. Tangerine Express IPA from Stone Brewing Company — Also uses Citra, Centennial, Sterling, and Mosaic. Tropical & Juicy from The Hop Concept — Also uses Amarillo, Cascade, Citra, Nelson, Mosaic, and Experimental 06277. Citrus & Piney from The Hop Concept — Also uses Experimental 06277, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra, and Experimental 05256. Free Verse IPA from Virginia Beer Company — Also uses Chinook. Brux IPA from Rushing Duck Brewing Company — Also uses El Dorado, Mosaic, and Meridian. Daycation IPA from Highland Brewing Company — Also uses El Dorado. South Of Eleven Double IPA from Hoof Heated Brewing Company — Also uses Equinox. Ruination Double IPA from Stone Brewing Company — Also uses Magnum, Nugget, Centennial, Citra, and Simcoe.