Lineage

Cascade is perhaps the most well-known North American hop variety but has parents from England and Russia!  Released in 1972 by the USDA, she has the farnesene of mother Fuggle and high myrcene and terpenes from mother Serebrianker.  Cascade therefore has the pungent citrus-pine fragrance with considerable notes of flowers and green fruit with a base of unctuous currant and mulberry.

Bittering skill level: MODERATE
Aroma skill level: HIGH

Bittering

Cascade has provided base bittering for dozens of years in thousands of beers.  It has a moderate alpha acid content and low sesquiterpines that provides a very clean, crisp bitterness.  Expect bitter contributions in the front and mid palate and on the sides of the tongue.  Expect little to no floral, green fruit, or currant aspects to make it through the boil.  Cascade can be used in any beer style.

Aroma

Cascade is often under-appreciated because of her ubiquity. A very skilled brewer can tease out quite unique aromas.  The very high myrcene content and terpenes like pinene and limonene produce a potent mix of flowers and fruit.  However when exposed to heat the floral components vaporize leaving behind the more aggressive solvent-like terpenes.  The currant/mulberry tones also disappear in high heat and are easily oxidized on storage.  Cascade can be used in nearly all beer styles.

Alpha Acid

4.5% to 7.0%
Wisconsin average 5.8% (7 year average)

Beta Acid

2.5 to 4.5%
Wisconsin average 3.5% (7 year average)

Oil Content

1. 4 ml/100gm
Wisconsin average >1.6 ml/100gm (7 year average)

Oil Breakdown

Myrcene ~ 60%
Humulene ~ 12%
Caryophyllene ~ 5%
Farnesene ~ 10%

Hot Side Aroma Profile

Expect moderate hoppy/herbal presence combined with solvent-like terpene residuals when added during the boil.  Low humulene and caryophyllene content are responsible for the more subtle herbal character.  Myrcene, linalool, geraniol, 4MMP, and farnesene will mostly volatilize on the hot side thereby diminishing any floral, green fruit or currant flavors.

Pairs Well With

CTZ, Simcoe, Nugget, Amarillo, Chinook, Galena, Centennial, Summit

Interferences

There is very little interference with typical varietals mostly due to Cascade’s low sesquiterpene content however expect and aroma contributions from the hot side to be masked by more potent varieties with higher sesquiterpene content.  Caution should be used with CTZ, Citra, Summit, and other highly pungent varieties.

Cool Side Aroma Profile

Adding Cascade at whirlpool will improve the floral and fruit character carried over to the beer but not as much as dry hop addition.  Expect the terpene presence to come through stronger than when added to the boil as the humulene/caryophyllene will not have fully oxidized and become flavorful.  Adding Cascade as a dry hop dramatically changes her character since all the lighter aromatics (mycrene, linalool, geraniol, 4MMP, nerol, etc) will solublize into the beer.  To fully experience what this variety can do make sure to pare it with complimentary hops and avoid overly aggressive herbal types that produce onion/garlic/musky character.

Pairs Well With

Mt. Hood, Brewer’s Gold, Tettnanger, Sterling, Chinook, Centennial, Fuggle, Hersbrucker, Nelson Sauvin

Interferences

Avoid any overbearing varieties that tend to be extremely pungent like CTZ, Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra, etc. Choose partners with some herbal components added on the hot side and cool side partners with sweet fruit and spice.