Cashmere hops are quickly becoming a favourite in the Working Title portfolio of go to all-rounders. A delicate tropical character when used sparingly and late, or a stronger citrus, herbal and stone fruit character when applied more judiciously, earlier. We have used it now in a Red and a Pale and been surprised with both results.
A hybridisation of Cascade and Northern Brewer at the Washington State University breeding programs, it’s unsurprising that Cashmere has this array of amazing flavour. Hybridisation programs are mostly agronomy based where crosses are first evaluated for traits such as vigor, branch characteristics, and resistance to mildew. Second, the hybrid is then assessed on cone traits like shape, arrangement and size. Finally, they are then assessed based on alpha acid content, essential oil composition and flavour and aroma compounds using techniques such as spectrometry and chromatography.
Once the selection has made it through this gauntlet, they are then shipped out to willing brew nerds to give a whack in pilot systems. From here, it’s a simple as putting in a cashmere jacket. We wouldn’t pull the wool over your eyes.