Since the 1930s, Oregon State University (OSU) has been a hot spot for hop research in North America. The U.S. government, OSU and some very talented minds have literally generated millions of acres of research on hop varieties, producing engineering icons like Dr. Al Haunold (who is credited with some 20 varieties of hops, including Cascade, which is a cornerstone in today’s craft brewing industry). As the microbrewing industry took off in the 1980s, many of the first pioneering indie brewers used a hybrid hop called Cascade, named after the Cascade mountain range that runs through Western North America.
Interestingly, Cascade was a hybrid hop that sat dormant on the shelf for a while — a fact illustrated in this awesome video from Oregon State University. A little background: Cascade originated from an open seed collection in 1956 including an English Fuggle, a Russian Serebrianker hop and an unknown male. In addition to its appealing flavor qualities, Cascade has a resistance to downy mildew, the single most devastating disease in Western United States hop yards. Learn more about Cascade by watching this video on the ongoing hop research happening at OSU, which has one of the world’s premiere brewing sciences programs. Enjoy.