Magnum Hops Insight from Andy Smith

We wanted to bring you insights into Magnum hops, so we reached out to Andy Smith, the brewer for West Sixth Brewery, concerning his expertise and experience with Magnum Hops.

BM: Can you recall the first beer you used Magnum hops for?

AS: The first beers I ever used Magnum hops in were classic German styles. Helles Lager and Dunkel.

BM: What is it about the Magnum hop variety that sticks out for you?

AS: What sticks out for me in Magnum hops is its bittering qualities. It’s great because it can balance out the sweetness in any beer perfectly without imparting any harsh bitter qualities when dialed in. Although it can be used to produce hoppy/bitter beers, I like to use it in beers that I’m not looking to have much in the way in hop character. Just enough bitterness to make a well balanced beer.

BM: What types of beers do Magnum hops typically go well with?

AS: Magnum hops are best suited for use in Lager styles, or really any beer that you want to balance with just a nice clean bitter character in the finish. I’ve also found that they are a great go-to for a wide range of ales that you are looking to have malt, yeast, spice or fruit dominate the aroma and flavor.

BM: You recently used Magnum hops in your Smoldered Pumpkin Ale at West Sixth, why’d you choose them for this particular beer and why?

AS: I chose Magnum hops for West Sixth’s Smoldered Pumpkin Ale because I wasn’t looking for this beer to be particularly hoppy. A simple bittering addition with Magnum hops in this beer allows the smokiness of the 125lbs of smoked pumpkins and the light addition of pumpkin spices shine.

BM: What are some unique characteristics you’ve discovered using Magnum hops that you feel go unnoticed by some brewers?

AS: I’ve found that Magnum hops are very versatile and can be used in classic styles such as Helles Lager or even an IPA that you want to apply a clean bitterness to with an addition nearing the beginning of the boil. In this way it is very versatile and can be used in brewing nearly any style of beer. There’s not too many hops out there that you can say that about.

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