Berries are in season, and it might be the right time to start brewing berry-flavored beer. You don’t need to go foraging in the woods; ordinary beer hops can give you the berry flavors you’re looking for.
You can never go wrong with Citra; almost every brew with Citra will be a winner. Though lime, grapefruit, and mango will overpower your taste buds, you’ll still be able to distinguish strong notes of gooseberry in your brew’s flavors and aromas.
When it comes to berry flavors, no hop comes close to Mosaic. It has one of the “berriest” flavor profile, with strong tones of blueberries being one of the most distinct flavors and aromas. Mosaic brews can be more on the sweet side, but there are still hints of citrus and pine notes to balance the flavors.
The tangerine flavors of Mandarina Bavaria have strong undertones of both gooseberry and strawberry. The berry flavors will give your brews a certain sweetness to complement the already flavorful citrus base of tangerine, lemon, and lime. This new German hop is quickly becoming quite popular in the USA, and you can now find them for sale in hop stores or online. Mandarina Bavaria works well with darker brews like stouts, lagers, and porters
Huell Melon is mild in its bitterness, aromas, and flavors. The fruity notes blend well with melon and strawberry, taking the spotlight. It is best used during dry-hopping to release more of its strawberry flavor. This German hop is perfect for Belgian ales and other malt beers.
One hop that comes close to Mosaic’s “berriness” is Belma. Belma brews are light and creamy, with a very distinct and intense strawberry flavor. Its flavors include hints of peach and bubblegum with a little bit of malt, but its aroma is overwhelmingly strawberry.
New Zealand’s Pacific Gem is a very aromatic hop with strong notes of blackberry. It is more commonly used as a bittering hop, but it works well in every stage of the brewing process. As a flavoring hop, it evokes tones of strawberry and blackberry, with a bit of citrus and melon. Pacific Gem brews have a balance of bitterness and sweetness, making it perfect for both IPAs and lagers.
Bullion is the oldest hop in the list, with a release date in the late 1930s. Though the hop has British origins, it was widely planted in the U.S. and Canada until the mid-1980s. Bullion works excellent as a bittering and as an aroma hop. When used for flavoring, it produces strong notes of black currant and raspberries while retaining a bit of the earthiness and herbal tones of most British hops. Bullion is perfect for the darker stouts and ales.
Citrusy brews are dominating the market, but it’s about time to shake it up and make your drinks more enjoyable. Get in season and put the berries into your brews and add a bit of sweetness into your beers.