Cascade is a variety of hop developed in the USDA breeding program at Oregon State University and released as an American aroma variety in 1971. It originated from an open seed collection in 1956, including English Fuggle, Russian Serebrianker, and an unspecified male hop variety. In addition to appealing flavor qualities, researchers were looking for resistance to downy mildew, a threat to hop yards. Cascade was named after the Cascade mountain range that runs through the states of Washington, Oregon and the Canadian province of British Columbia. The hop variety was first used commercially in 1976 by the New Albion Brewing Company, which established it as a signature hop for American pale ale.
A visual characteristic of the plant is its dark green elongated cones which contain moderate to somewhat high amounts of alpha acids compared to many other hop types. The plant is grown in various places around the United States of America, British Columbia Canada, Argentina and in Tasmania Australia.
Use in brewing
The resultant aroma is of medium strength and very distinct. It has a pleasant, flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality with a slight grapefruit characteristic. The hop is good for both flavor and aroma uses. It can also be used for bittering effectively, and can be used to make any ales, and indeed is characteristic of American pale ales; used in some lagers.
A variety of Cascade has been propagated in Tasmania, Australia. It has similar resultant characteristics to the US variety. The Tasmanian variety contains less myrcene oil and more humulene oil as well as other more minor differences.
New Zealand Variety
A variety of Cascade is also bred in New Zealand. Similarities exist between the US and New Zealand varieties with the NZ version described as citrus moving more toward grapefruit characteristics. Agronomic and terroir impact has been described as positive for the New Zealand type