Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Wonders of Citra

Last December, during a stop at Deschutes Brewery's pub in Portland, I ordered a pub-only special called "Fresh Squeezed IPA." It was an experimental IPA, dry-hopped with several aroma hops.

The result was stunning, full of citrus and unlike any other IPA I've had. It was one of the best IPAs ever to pass my lips.

Months later, that beer is still on my mind. So I sent an e-mail to Deschutes asking for more information.

Fresh Squeezed IPA comes in at 6.5 percent ABV and 60 IBUs. What set this IPA apart was the use of Citra hops, a relatively new hop variety.

"The Citra hops were added very late in the process to maximize the aroma of the hop," Deschutes brewer Cam O'Conner said in an e-mail. "Deschutes Brewery has been a leader in bringing this hop out of the experimental field and into the brewery for test batches. This hop is gaining popularity and you will see more of it in the future. "

To my knowledge, none of our local brewers has used Citra hops to date.

Sierra Nevada, the popular California brewery, uses Citra to dry-hop its Torpedo Extra IPA. Deschutes is using Citra in its new Hop In the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale, essentially, a black IPA, a new style emerging in the Northwest.

I have long been a champion of IPAs that exhibit other qualities besides bracing bitterness. Dry-hopping with Citras seems like a great way to do that. I look forward to the expanded use of this hop.

Now who is going to be the first Durango brewer to give it a try?


  1. I agree about wanting less "bracing bitterness" sometimes and more interesting aroma hops. Hadn't heard of Citra hops, sounds promising! I will have to look for the Torpedo- who in town is selling it?

  2. Star has it for sure; I wouldn't be surprised if Liquor World and others have it, too. Sierra Nevada gets on a lot of shelves.