Top Hop Spot: Cascade

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This week's Top Hop Spot goes to Cascade! Cascade is one of the most popular hops in the world, making up a 1/10th of all hops grown in the U.S.! Cascade was developed in the USDA breeding program at Oregon State University by Dr. Stanley Nelson Brooks and Jack Horner in the 1960's. The hop variety was first used commercially in 1975 by the Anchor Brewing Company, which established it as a signature hop for American pale ale. It was later made famous by Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale that originally only used Cascade hops.

When it comes to flavor profile Cascade has a flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality with a slight grapefruit characteristic. The hop is good for both flavor and aroma uses. Common substitutes for this hop are Centennial, Amarillo, Columbus, Ahtanum and Mt. Hood.

Traditionally grown in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., there are now Australian and New Zealand varieties too! These hops tend to be more grapefruit forward than US-grown Cascade. In New Zealand, the flavor profile changed so much that most hop farmers have re-labeled them as Taiheke hops. This is common in hop growing, as the terroir of the region the hops are grown plays a significant role in the hops flavor characteristics. Another example of this is the Styrian Golding, Fuggle, and Willamette hops. They all started as the same hop, however Fuggle's are grown in the UK, Styrian Golding's are grown across the rest of Europe, mostly Slovenia, and Willamette can be found in the Pacific Northwest of the US. In this case all three hops can be substituted for each other, with brewers reporting only slight differences between them all, depending on the crop year.  

FUN FACT: In the U.S. The Cascade Cup is given to the hop-farmer with the best Cascade crop each year! I wonder if it's an actual 'cup' and what beer they drink out of it to celebrate.

Here are some beers that feature Cascade in all is flowery and grapefruity wonderfulness so you can check it out yourself!

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Pale Ale


Pale Ale label

Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 1.25M+

Unique (?) 589,627

5.6% ABV

38 IBU


527,532 Ratings

Our most popular beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a delightful interpretation of a classic style. It has a deep amber color and an exceptionally full-bodied, complex character. Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. by Pale Ale

Mattias is drinking a Pale Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. at Artipelag

Bottle Bottle

Drinking Socially (2020) Earned the Drinking Socially (2020) badge! Photogenic Brew (Level 58) Earned the Photogenic Brew (Level 58) badge! 99 Bottles (Level 12) Earned the 99 Bottles (Level 12) badge! Pale as the Moon (Level 5) Earned the Pale as the Moon (Level 5) badge!

Check-in Photo

Anchor Brewing Company Liberty IPA


Liberty IPA label

Liberty IPA

Anchor Brewing Company

IPA - American

Total (?) 11,527

Unique (?) 10,819

6.3% ABV



9,950 Ratings

Liberty IPA is our reimagining of craft-brew classic Liberty Ale, envisioned through the lens of today's IPAs. We first brewed Liberty Ale in 1975, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's midnight ride. This revolutionary forerunner of the modern IPA introduced America to the Cascade hop and the nearly lost art of dry-hopping. Like it's processor, Liberty IPA is made with two-row pale malt and Cascade hops. It is the combination of Cascade with new hop varieties - in both brewhouse and cellar - that creates the mouthwatering complex and robust aromas of pine and citrus in this crisp, American-style IPA. The label, like Liberty Ale's, features a bald eagle, whose symbolism runs deep for all Americans including Native Americans. "A very great vision is needed," thought Crazy Horse, and the one "who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky."

Tröegs Independent Brewing Perpetual IPA

Perpetual IPA label

Perpetual IPA

Tröegs Independent Brewing

IPA - American

Total (?) 402,209

Unique (?) 199,035

7.5% ABV

85 IBU


180,463 Ratings

In our constant evolution as a brewery, we've developed on undying drive to meld the organic and the mechanical. Perpetual IPA utilizes our hopback and dry-hopping to engineer a bold Imperial Pale Ale. Perpetual IPA is 7.5% ABV and 85 IBUs. It features Bravo, Chinook and Mt. Hood hops in the boil, Mt. Hood and Nugget hops in the hopback and Citra, Cascade and Nugget hops in dry-hopping.

Bear Republic Brewing Co. Racer 5 IPA

Racer 5 IPA label

Racer 5 IPA

Bear Republic Brewing Co.

IPA - American

Total (?) 411,720

Unique (?) 230,097

7.5% ABV

75 IBU


206,523 Ratings

This hoppy IPA is a full bodied beer brewed with malted barley, wheat, and crystal malts. The malt base is designed to highlight the unique floral qualities of Columbus and Cascade hops from the Pacific Northwest. There's a trophy in every glass!

Bear Republic Brewing Co. by Racer 5 IPA

Marc Reeves is drinking a Racer 5 IPA by Bear Republic Brewing Co. at Canandaigua Lake

Hello old friend!

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Tagged Friends

Check-in Photo

Have another beer that features Cascade - tell me about it, by tagging me @HarryBeerBeard in your next check-in of it!

Make sure to listen to this week's newest "Drinking Socially" episode over on to hear more about Cascade, as well as catch the newest edition of "Beer 101" where we tackle what goes into a brew day!

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