If you’re on the hunt for a new hop variety that’s fruity and fresh, look no further than Cashmere Hops. Cashmere is a relatively new hop variety brought to market within the last decade. A dual-purpose hop great for all stages of the brewing process, Cashmere is growing in popularity. It’s beloved for its fresh, tropical flavor combined with a smooth bitterness.
If you’re curious about where Cashmere came from and how to use it, this article holds the answers.
History and Origin of Cashmere Hops
Cashmere was developed at Washington State University’s public hop growing program and released in 2013. It was released in conjunction with other hops developed by the program, including Tahoma and Yakima Gold.
While it’s relatively new in the hop world, Cashmere is a popular option because it’s one of the few new hops that can be grown at home. Most hops like it are protected by a patent and unavailable to home growers. Cashmere is a female plant that’s the product of Cascade and Northern Brewer.
Cashmere is a publicly grown and cultivated dual-purpose hop used for aroma and bitterness. It’s a medium to late crop in terms of harvest time and is one of the best hop varieties for storage purposes because of how it retains alpha acid. While it’s used for bittering purposes, Cashmere’s wheelhouse is in the flavor and aroma department.
Flavor & Aroma Profile
Cashmere is a true enigma when it comes to flavor and aroma. It somehow manages to impart strong but delicate flavors while maintaining a smooth and fruity bitterness. Melon, tangerine, coconut, notes, sweet lemon, notes of citrus, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and more are the most common flavors associated with Cashmere. However, it also has subtle notes of pineapple and spice.
Brewing Values of Cashmere Hops
Here are the brewing values for Cashmere hops. Keep in mind that every year produces different quantities and qualities of Cashmere, so these numbers are based on what is usually produced.
- Alpha Acid – 8-11%
Alpha acids are the primary source of bitterness for beer, and the longer you boil Cashmere hops, the more bitter it will be.
- Beta Acid – 4-7%
Beta acid might have acid in the name, but it doesn’t contribute to a beer’s bitterness, unlike Alpha. Betas’ purpose is to contribute flavor and aroma profile to a beer.
- Alpha-Beta Ratio – 1:1 – 2:1
The ratio you use for adding Alpha and beta acids will determine how bitter your brew is.
- Co-humulone as % of Alpha – 35%
The lower the cohumulone % is, the less bitter your beer will be. Higher levels will result in a more bitter taste.
- Total Oils 1.4-2.2 mL
Oils will also add flavor and aroma to the final product. Here are the different oils used with Cashmere hops.
- Myrcene – 39-42%
- Humulene – 21-25%
- Caryophyllene – 5-13%
- Farnesene – 0-1%
- All Other Oils – 8-27%
Beer Styles That Use Cashmere Hops
Here are a few of the most common beer styles that use Cashmere Hops in the brewing process.
- Pale and Wild Ales
- Blonde and Amber American Styles
- Many more
Beers That You Can Buy That Use Cashmere Hops
There are also plenty of individual beers that use Cashmere Hops if you’re in the mood for a first-hand sample.
- Big Rock Brewing Company makes the Cashmere Crooner
- The aptly named Other Half Brewing Company makes the Cashmere Pale Ale, which is one of the most popular styles in which to use Cashmere
- Variant Brewing created and perfected the Cashmere – So Soft & So Smooth
- Make sure to try Straight Up Cashmere IPA courtesy of the Foxhole Brewing Company
Common Substitutions For Cashmere Hops
While Cashmere is often readily available for purchase and use, here are a few hops you can substitute in its place.
- Northern Brewer
How to Grow Your Own Cashmere Hops
Have we got you curious and thirsty enough to try to grow your own Cashmere hops yet? If so, here is some crucial information that you’ll need.
Like all hops, Cashmere needs plenty of water, especially in the first two years of growth. Water Cashmere regularly so that the soil remains moist but not flooded. You should be able to stick your finger two inches into the ground at all times and feel moisture.
Cashmere requires 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day. Full sun is ideal unless you live in warmer climates with high temperatures. Where the temperature is consistently in the 80s and 90s, your plant will need a mixture of sun and shade.
Sandy, well-drained loam soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 is best for growing Cashmere hops. You’ll want to plant your rhizome at least four inches deep in the ground and allow enough space for your plant’s roots to spread. Planting each Cashmere hop plant 3 to 5 feet apart should be sufficient.
Hops plants are hardy and can thrive in hardiness zones 3 through 8. It’s best to plant Cashmere hops between February and April because they can withstand cold temperatures for the most part. However, you want to avoid planting them until after the last frost of the year.
Keep your hop plants trimmed to maintain good growth and reduce pests and diseases. Trimming is also key to keeping hop plants growing vertically instead of horizontally. If needed, use a pole or post to help train your plants to grow in a vertical direction. At times, you may need to also introduce a fungicide or herbicide into the hop growth process to keep mildew and pests at bay.
Cashmere will grow to a height of 20-25 feet tall, so you’ll want to plant them outdoors. You should also provide a trellis or support system to aid them as they grow tall.
Where To Purchase Cashmere Hops
If you’re ready to try your own homebrew using Cascade Hops, you can purchase the pellets here. Make sure to let us know how it turns out!
Final Thoughts About Cashmere Hops
Cashmere is a well-rounded hop with a smooth bitterness and complex flavors. It has a unique flavor and aroma profile combined with its high alpha content. You’d be remiss if you didn’t decide to try Cashmere in one of your next home brews. Cashmere also makes a great addition to your home garden if you’re feeling extra ambitious! No matter your goals, Cashmere is the hop for you.
Have you brewed using Cashmere hops? Tell us about your experiences with it in the comments section below! To read about other hops you can try at home, click here for our hops profile blog posts.