Released in 2000, by Yakima Chief Ranches, Simcoe is one of many proprietary hops developed by the famous research scientist Charles “Chuck” Zimmerman.
Simcoe, considered a dual-purpose hop due to their high-alpha acid content and distinct flavour, had already become one of the most popular proprietary hops in the world by 2013.
Because Simcoe hops are a patented variety, very little is known about their lineage, with only the patent-holders being privy to that information.
Simcoe are grown almost exclusively in Washington and Idaho, with the vast majority coming from Yakima, Washington, however Oregon began growing them in 2015 with their first 189 acres.
Their popularity saw their production almost double in the same year, going from about 1886 acres to 3200 acres in 2015.
Simcoe Hops Flavour & Characteristics
Simcoe Hops Facts:
- Purpose: Bittering and flavour
- Country of origin: USA
- Alpha Acids: 11-15%
- Beta Acids: 3-5%
- Co-Humulone: 15-20%
- Myrcene: 60-65%
- Humulene: 15-20%
- Farnesene: <1%
- Flavour: Passion Fruit, Pine, Citrus, Apricot, Berry
- Substitutions: Magnum (bittering), Summit
Simcoe is considered to be a true dual-purpose hop, due to its high-alpha and smooth bittering qualities, combined with its distinct aroma and flavour.
This unique Simcoe hops flavour is, no doubt, the reason that the patent-holders settled on the iteration of Simcoe that we have today. It is sometimes compared to Cascade, which itself exhibits characteristics of lychee, spicy citrus, grapefruit, and floral notes.
However, the Simcoe hops profile is such that Cascade is not a truly ideal substitute. Simcoe is often referred to as “Cascade on steroids”. To get close to a Simcoe flavour substitution, one would probably have to settle on a combination of other West Coast grown hops, like Amarillo, Centennial, and Columbus, along with Cascade.
Many brewers are of the opinion that, when it comes to flavouring, there is no substitute for Simcoe.
As far as bittering goes, higher co-humulone levels are often associated with a rough or harsh bittering effect. Magnum is a hop that is sometimes compared to Simcoe hops for bittering, however due to the fact that it tends to have significantly higher amount of co-humulones, it tends to not be as smooth and refined as Simcoe. However, it will do as a Simcoe bittering substitute in a pinch.
Beers that use Simcoe Hops
To experience for the yourself what the Simcoe hops flavour profile is like, there are many great commercial beers with Simcoe hops available to choose from.
Pliny the Elder – Russian River
60 Minute IPA – Dogfish Head
Double Simcoe IPA – Weyerbacher (single hopped)
Simcoe IPA – Buxton Brewery (single hopped)
Solo: Simcoe – Signature Brew
If you’d like to brew a Simcoe hopped beer, of course, our first recommendation would be a big single-hopped IPA, in particular a West Coast style IPA, the style of beer that Simcoe was made for.
If you’d like to brew one of our recipes, we have great recipe called Hazy Pale, which is more of a fruity New England IPA style, that features Simcoe among others. There is also the Dry-Hopped Stout, which has Simcoe in the boil, as well as the dry hop.
Where to buy Simcoe Hops?
If you’re looking to find Simcoe hops for sale in the UK, check out our ingredients list where you’ll find Simcoe (and many other great hops) available at great price!
Unfortunately, we don’t yet ship our supplies, so drop on by and pick up your next recipe in person.