Pride of Ringwood

This is third in a series of posts about lesser known hops that we’ll be featuring in our upcoming Hops class. Pride of RingwoodPride of Ringwood ... let that sink in for a second. As names go, that sounds more likely to be the title bestowed upon a Game of Thrones character than on a hop variety, but when Pride of Ringwood established itself in the early to mid 60's it accounted for more than 90% of the hop production in the land down under so it's more than earned that moniker. Named for the suburb of Melbourne where it was originally grown, Pride of Ringwood is a cross breed of Pride of Kent and a wild Tasmanian variety. Primarily used as a bittering hop (back when 7-11% was something to brag about), this hop found its way into virtually every Australian brewhouse. However, as the alpha acid arms race has sped well past Pride of Ringwood's ceiling, it has been relegated to more of the flavor/aroma usage these days. The aroma of Ringwood has a robust pungency to it, a kind of subtle resin quality in the realm of a slightly more muted Simcoe. While the flavor does have a little citrus and even some berry-like qualities; they are slight. What's really pleasant are the earthy notes and the hint of spice that follows. I would describe it as cedar-like, in the very best way. If you plan on using this Tasmanian devil in your next brew, of course I would recommend it as a middle alpha bittering hop in a pale ale or hop-bursted I.P.A., but you could easily play to those earthy cedar notes as an accent in a hoppy fall amber or even as a middle/late addition in a winter warmer (maybe toss in a little spruce essence?). Truth be told, I started jotting down a recipe where I will do just that as I was writing this, so plan on me asking for feedback come the December swap. Bobby B Bobby Bendily
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