closeup photo of pine tree

Simcoe Hops: The Earthy Elegance of Craft Beer


Simcoe hops have carved a unique place for themselves in the craft beer world, renowned for their distinct blend of pine, citrus, and earthy flavours. With their bold and complex profile, Simcoe hops bring an elegant touch to brewing. In this blog post, we will embark on a journey through the captivating world of Simcoe hops, exploring their origins, unique characteristics, and the impact they have had on the craft beer landscape.

The Origins of Simcoe Hops

Simcoe hops were introduced in 2000 as part of the breeding program at Yakima Chief Ranches in Washington State, USA. Named after the county where the ranch is located, Simcoe hops were created by crossing various hop strains, including a mix of North American and European hops. They quickly gained popularity for their robust and captivating flavour profile.

Unique Characteristics of Simcoe Hops

Piney Resin

One of the defining characteristics of Simcoe hops is their distinctive piney flavour and aroma. They bring a resinous quality to the beer, reminiscent of fresh pine forests. This earthy note adds depth and complexity, creating a unique experience for beer enthusiasts.

Citrus and Tropical Undertones

Simcoe hops also contribute citrus and tropical fruit undertones to beers. Alongside the dominant piney notes, flavours of grapefruit, lemon, and sometimes passion fruit can be detected. These citrus and tropical nuances add a refreshing twist to the overall hop profile.

Earthy and Herbal Undertones

In addition to the piney and citrus qualities, Simcoe hops offer earthy and herbal undertones. These notes create a sense of depth and complexity, enhancing the overall character of the beer. The earthiness adds a touch of grounded elegance to the hop profile.

Moderate Bitterness

Simcoe hops provide a moderate level of bitterness, making them versatile for use in a variety of beer styles. With alpha acid content typically ranging from 10% to 16%, Simcoe hops deliver a well-balanced bitterness that complements the hop’s complex flavour profile.

Impact on Craft Beer

Simcoe hops have made a significant impact on the craft beer industry, influencing the development of various beer styles and contributing to the creativity of brewers. Here are a few ways Simcoe hops have left their mark:

IPAs and Double IPAs

Simcoe hops have become synonymous with IPAs and Double IPAs (DIPA). Their robust flavour profile and moderate bitterness make them an ideal choice for hop-forward beers. Simcoe hops contribute to the bold hop character, adding a piney, citrusy, and earthy dimension to these beer styles.

Pale Ales and Amber Ales

Simcoe hops are also utilized in Pale Ales and Amber Ales, where their unique flavour profile complements the malt backbone of these styles. They add complexity and depth to these beers, creating a harmonious balance between the malt sweetness and the hop bitterness.

Blended Hop Combinations

Simcoe hops are often used in combination with other hop varieties to create unique flavour profiles. Their distinct characteristics make them an excellent partner in hop blends, allowing brewers to experiment with different combinations and create beers with intricate and memorable hop profiles.

Experimental and Limited Release Beers

Simcoe hops have been featured in numerous experimental and limited-release beers, showcasing their versatility and captivating flavours. Brewers often push the boundaries with these hops, incorporating them into unique and innovative beer styles that showcase the full range of Simcoe’s aromatic and flavorful potential.


Simcoe hops bring an earthy elegance to the craft beer landscape, with their piney, citrus, and earthy flavours. Their versatility and distinct flavour profile have made them a beloved choice among brewers, allowing for the creation of unique and memorable beer experiences. Whether they are adding depth to IPAs, contributing to the balance of Pale Ales, or being used in experimental brews, Simcoe hops continue to captivate beer enthusiasts with their robust and complex character. So, the next time you savour a beer featuring Simcoe hops, raise your glass to these elegant hops that have left an indelible mark on the craft beer world.