Lineage

Nugget has many parents but is most notably the daughter of venerable Brewer’ Gold, which explains her robust growth and high yield in Wisconsin.  She is also crossed with Golding genetics which produces a more refined, subtle aroma character compared to other high alpha North American varieties.  Nugget can be considered the more refined, conservative cousin of sassy Chinook.

Bittering skill level: LOW
Aroma skill level: HIGH

Bittering

Nugget is a bittering workhorse, being neglected for her aroma since her inception.  Nevertheless Nugget produces a refined almost buttery bitterness compared to other high alpha varieties.  Moderate humulene and low caryophyllene levels meld with the alpha bitterness to help round the overall bitter complex without introducing too much aroma.  She can be utilized anywhere on the hot side for consistent alpha contribution.  The smooth bitterness can be used in any beer style but is typically relegated to American ales and IPAs.  Try in lagers or in styles utilizing caramel malts.

Aroma

Nugget is definitely the aroma dark horse.  Being bred for alpha acid and production concerns her aroma contributions have gone unnoticed for decades until recently.  She lacks the hefty pine and pepper aspects of her cousin, Chinook but makes up for it as a more multi-purpose perfume yet hoppy aroma variety.  Great for late additions and dry hopping in more malt forward beers.  Plays very well with mom, Brewer’s Gold.

Alpha Acid

10.5% to 13.5%
Wisconsin average 12.7% (7 year average)

Beta Acid

3.5% to 6.0%
Wisconsin average 4.5% (7 year average)

Oil Content

2.0 ml/100gm
Wisconsin average 2.0-2.3 ml/100gm (7 year average)

Oil Breakdown

Myrcene ~ 55%
Humulene ~ 19%
Caryophyllene ~ 9%
Farnesene ~ trace

 

Hot Side Aroma Profile

Expect similar moderate hoppy/herbal presence minus the solvent-like terpene residuals of Chinook. Low humulene and caryophyllene content are responsible for the more subtle herbal character. Myrcene and the more perfume hydrocarbons will flash from the hot side and not contribute much to the final beer.

Pairs Well With

Mt. Hood, Cascade, Galena, Centennial, Brewer’s Gold, Crystal, Willamette

Interferences

Because of her high oil content Nugget can mask less oily varieties of similar profile.  Likewise her aroma contributions on the hot side can be shadowed by more aggressive hops like CTZ, Simcoe, Amarillo, etc.

Cool Side Aroma Profile

Nugget is understated yet rich due mainly to the balance between myrcene and the perfume-like linalool, geraniol, nerol, etc and the more pungent sesquiterpenes.  Lacking the turpentine essence of Chinook, Nugget’s smoothness and honey-ish presence blends very well with more malt forward recipes.  Expect some aging from dry-hopping to produce more herbal, dank hints.  Nugget definitely becomes more complex after aging.

Pairs Well With

Mt. Hood, Crystal, Tettnanger, Sterling, Centennial, Fuggle, Willamette, 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.