28 Aug Guardians of the Galaxy Hops – Details on Your Fav Hop
We’ve even seen experimental hops helping set new beers apart from their competition. Many of these follow a naming convention of “HBC” plus a 3-digit number. Once a hop becomes commercially produced, it gets an official name. For example, Sabro was originally named HBC 438 and Strata X331.
But let’s save that for another article…
In a world (still) dominated by the haze craze of hazy IPAs, hop choices seem endless. Some of the most familiar hops, such as Citra and Mosaic, have found their way into hazies.
With a myriad of hops to try, everyone is bound to have their favorite. Some people love a piney, woodsy flavor, while others would instead dive into a total citrus bomb.
My favorite hop is Galaxy. This flavor-packed hop is one of the most popular and, consequently, one of the most expensive.
Here are five facts about the hop variety that I love (and consider the best):
- The breeding program for Galaxy hops began in 1994 in Australia, an area of the world known for its hop cultivation. Australia’s hops tend to be fruitier, making them more appealing for both brewers and consumers. However, newer to us stateside beer drinkers, Australia’s hop offerings are quickly gaining in popularity.
- Galaxy was bred as a cross between J78 and German Perle. J78 is a descendant of a hop we don’t see much of here, Pride of Ringwood, with German Perle, the most popular hops used in Germany. U.S. hop growers have tried to replicate the Perle plant. However, it ended up as one with a smaller cone and a higher yield.
- Its flavor profile is known for “all fruit.” No spice, no pine, no nothing. Just passion fruit, peach, pineapple, and everything good. What makes this possible is its high percentage of essential oils (no, not those).
- Hops are rated on alpha acids, which contribute to their bitterness. Galaxy’s acid range is around 13%-15%, which is on the higher end. However, they are typically added later in the brewing process or as a dry hop, so the focus is more on their aroma and not bitterness (though some still come across).
- Galaxy hops can be found in many Houston beers. Here’s a short list to get you started:
Baa Baa Majestic AF
Brazos Valley Lost Highway
Eureka Heights Business Time
Great Heights Galactic Fruitier Pellets
Great Heights Ladder to Heaven
Ingenious Double Humble Galaxy
Platypus Hazy IPA
Saint Arnold Pub Crawl
Saint Arnold Texas Winter IPA
SpindleTap Houston Haze
Complex beers are some of my favorites to diagnose and pick apart. Many of those beers feature hops that can be both piney and fruity, like Mosaic.
However, after adding nearly 8,000 beers to my beer list, there’s always been one hop that has stood out: Galaxy hops.
Its straight-forward fruitiness and intense flavors play well with others and can also support a beer all on its own.
They are a favorite hop in the IPA world but provide a unique application in other styles such as saisons, wheat beers, and wild ales.
Just like every aspect of beer, hops are very subjective. We’d love to hear what hops you look for in a beer and chase on release day.
Beers to you, Houston.
Brent is originally from Ohio but has been in Houston for over 10 years. As an Aggie, musician, animal advocate, and Lego collector, he always has something going on. If you have an imperial stout, come find him. He’ll want to add it to his insatiable beer spreadsheet.