Gene Probasco, John I. Haas, Inc., Yakima, WA USA
Co-author(s): Jason Perrault, Select Botanicals Group, Toppenish, WA, USA; Scott Varnum, John I. Haas Inc., Yakima, WA, USA
ABSTRACT: HBC 369 is a new flavor hop variety developed and released by the Hop Breeding Company LLC (HBC). Brewers who have brewed with HBC 369 often describe the flavor of their beers using the general descriptors of tropical fruit, citrus, and floral, while other descriptors include fruity, herbal, spicy, and earthy. The presence of this complex and varied aroma profile has also been confirmed in the hop by data collected from HBC sensory panels. HBC 369 has an attractive pedigree that includes the well-known flavor variety Simcoe YCR 14 as the mother and a father that is 50% Nugget. HBC 369 is 50% YCR 14, 25% Nugget, and the remaining 25% is Tomahawk, Brewers Gold, Early Green, and some unknown variety. HBC 369 combines a very complex hop aroma with a relatively high alpha-acids content and low cohumulone content to serve a dual purpose as both a bittering and flavoring hop. This combination ultimately provides clean bitterness and aroma profiles that cannot be accomplished with other hop varieties. The agronomic characteristics of this powdery mildew resistant variety are excellent, and production is rapidly increasing to meet the rising brewery demand for this new flavor hop. A name for HBC 369 will be selected and announced in the near future.
Gene Probasco received an undergraduate degree in biology from Central Washington University and a M.S. degree in plant pathology from Washington State University. After graduation, he spent six years at Washington State University, where he conducted research on hop breeding and diseases of hops. After joining John I. Haas, Inc., he started the first private hop breeding program in the United States and has since patented and released a number of new hop varieties into the U.S. hop industry, several of which constitute major varieties in the current industry. In addition to hop breeding, he has conducted agronomic research for the hop industry and more recently has been conducting research on use of hop products for non-brewing purposes, for which he also has several patents. For the past 20 years he has been a vice president for John I. Haas, Inc., where he has the additional responsibility for hop production on the company-owned hop farms and serving as a liaison between brewing customers and hop producers.