Nick Carr on July 9, 2018 2 Comments History of Denali Hops Looking for something big, brash, and boisterous for your next pale ale or IPA? Look no further then Denali. With a hoppy one-two punch of pineapple, pine, and refreshing citrus, it’s easy to see why this is one of the hottest and most sought after varieties right now. The variety was originally bred by Hopsteiner, one of the largest and oldest hop farms in the world. They’ve been involved in the hop industry since 1845, and continually put out some of the most sought after varieties. Over the last couple years they’ve released several new experimental and proprietary varieties, including Lemondrop, Calypso, Eureka!, and Denali. Denali comes from a cross made in 2006 between a female Nugget, and the son of another cross between a female Zeus and USDA 19058 male. It’s lineage is: 50% Nugget, 25% Zeus, and 25% 19058. The 19058 is the result of a cross (PDF) between Early Green and an unknown variety. Because it is known for creating healthy, vigorous offspring with high alpha-acid (PDF), 19058 has worked its way into the breeding of some of today’s most successful hops. It is the father of such varieties as Mt. Hood and Super Galena; and the Grandfather to a whole slew of varieties including Calypso, Delta, Horizon, Nugget, Summit, and Apollo. Many of Hopsteiner’s successes, particularly, seem to make use of 19058. After ten years of evaluation, the experimental variety #06277 was released commercially under the name Denali. Not only do new hops like Denali bring big things to the brew-pot, but they also perform better in a natural environment that’s seeing its share of struggles. Denali, along with Eureka, both show great promise as varieties that can do well under stressors, such as climbing temperatures. The name Denali is, no doubt, meant to signify just how big this hop is in every way; its vigor, its cone-size, its yield, and its flavor; and with the 2017 harvest in, it’s easy for the homebrewer to experience all that “bigness” for themselves. How To Brew Beer With Denali Hops Trademarking of hops is something we’re seeing more and more of these days, as hop breeding companies try to protect and get the most out of their investment. This is understandable, but still unfortunate for those willing to get down in the dirt and grow their own hops. As a result, many of the newer varieties are out of reach for gardeners. Unfortunately, Denali™ is one of these patented hops and rhizomes are not available to the public. Acid Composition Breakdown Alpha Acid: 13 – 15% Beta Acid: 4 – 5% Co-Humulone: 22 – 26% Oil Composition Breakdown Total Oils: 2.5 – 4.0 mL/100g Myrcene Oil: 54.6% (of total) Humulene Oil: 16% (of total) Caryophyllene Oil: 6% (of total) Franesene Oil: 0.2% (of total) B-Pinene Oil: 0.7% (of total) Linalool Oil: 0.2% (of total) Geraniol Oil: 0.5% (of total) However, not all hop-hope is lost, both Zeus and Nugget aren’t patented and rhizomes are widely available in the early spring. If you can’t grow Denali, you may as well grow a piece of its lineage. And, if neither of these varieties tickles your green thumb you can always take a look at our other hop profiles for more possibilities. General Characteristics: Origin — United States Year Released — 2016 Growth Rate — Vigorous Yield — High; 2,800-3,100 Kg/ha ≈ (2,500 – 2,765 Pounds/Acre) Cones — Very large and dense Maturity — Late Susceptible To — N/A Resistant To — powdery and downy mildew Ease of Harvest — Easy Storage — N/A Patented or Open Source — Patented Aroma & Sensory Description: Denali hops have garnered the nickname “Nuggetzilla” for its similarity to, but much stronger expression of, the fruity side of the spicy and fruity coin that is Nugget. The biggest contributions from the variety, in both the aroma and flavor department, is the citrus and tropical fruitiness. It is noted for its strong pineapple and citrus (often perceived as lemon) profile, along with subtler hints of stone fruit. It can also bring whispers of resin and spice. Availability: Being that it is one of the most popular varieties at the moment, Denali hops shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Of course, being one of the hottest hops about town also means supplies may not last too long, especially for the humble homebrewer. It’s also worth noting that at the time of this writing, I haven’t seen them available in anything but pellet form. Instead of running around town looking for them, here’s a quick link to what is available on Amazon. Use: Denali is a dual-purpose hop, who’s unusually high oil content brings bold aromas and flavors. The high oil content makes it of particular interest for late boil and dry-hop additions. It would be a great choice for the fruit-forward IPAs and pale ales that are all the rage right now. Some trial brewers have experienced notes of fresh grass, though this could be down to the quantities of hop used and when it was added. If you’re looking to craft your own recipe with the variety, Denali would certainly pair well with some other fruity hops, such as Mosaic, Azacca, or Citra. Can Substitute With / For: There are no clear substitutes for Denali. It was nicknamed Nuggetzilla at one point, so Nugget would seem to be a good starting point. You may also try a mix of Zeus and Nugget. Common Beer Styles: IPA & Pale Ales Saisons 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 Denali works in different beer styles and give you a better idea of how to use it in your own homebrewing. Uses Only Denali: Denali Hero from Revolution Brewing (USA) Bursted Denali from El Segundo Brewing (USA) Denali Shop from Lake Front Brewing (USA) Uses Denali With Other Hop Varieties: Roshambo Hoppy Ale from Terminal Gravity Brewing (USA) — Also uses Eureka. Belgian White IPA from Great Lakes Brewing (USA) — Also uses Azacca and Experimental Hop 02369. Critical Band from Modern Times Brewing (USA) — Also uses Centennial, Ekuanot, Simcoe. Denali Citra from Hold Hands New Brews (USA) — Also uses Citra. White IPA from Lengthwise Brewing ((USA) — Also uses Amarillo. Hop Debackle from O’so Brewing (USA) — Also Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy. Always Ready from Cape May Brewing (USA) — Also uses Mosaic, Citra, Calypso, Ekuanot, and Zythos. If you have any experience brewing with Denali hops, or have tasted beer that make use of the variety please share your thoughts below in the comments. Happy Brewing!