I learned a lot about the versatility of Fuggles this year, mostly in part to my visit to Leach Lake Brewing. There they use Fuggles hops in just about every one of their beers:
According to The Brewmasters Bible this hop is “[the] classic finishing hops” (Snyder, 1997). What they mean by finishing hop is that most beer adds hops usually in two stages during the boil. The first stage is the”bittering” hops. These hops are used to offset the cloying sweetness of the malt. Great examples of bittering hops are Hellertauer used in German Lagers, and Saaz hops which is what makes Czech Pilsners famous. The second addition of hops is usually only steeped for a few minutes to impart aroma to the beer and these are called aroma or “finishing hops”. Fuggles is the latter type and are most commonly used in traditional British Ales especially their versions of Pale Ales, Porters and Stouts.
According to The Oxford Companion to Beer Fuggles is named after Richard Fuggles who introduced the variety in 1861. It was used extensively due to is pleasantness on the taster’s palate, and its resistance to several diseases that were plaguing other hop strain at the time. (Oliver, 2012) Fuggle hops is slowly being replaced by more “efficient” hop varieties with similar properties and aromas, but there a few breweries out there still using it. The best way to taste Fuggle hops in all its glory is to track down any beer from Leech Lake Brewing.
Until next time, PROST!
Oliver, G. (2012). The Oxford Companion to Beer. New York: Oxford University Press.
Snyder, S. (1997). The Brewmasters Bible: The Gold Standard for Homebrewers. New York: HarperCollins.