Officially registered in 1952, the original Saaz has established itself as a staple variety for brewers and dates back more than 700 years. Originating in Zatec, Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) it is an esteemed red-bine variety that is now grown around the world. New Zealand, in particular, has embraced it.
With such a low alpha acid percentage, inarguably an aroma hop, however, when used as an early addition it is thought to add a delicate bitterness. Additionally, its elevated content of polyphenols aids in abating oxidation, giving beer brewed with Saaz a notably longer shelf life.
Growing Saaz is not without its difficulties. Specifically, it ensures a meagre yield, has weak mildew resistance and light cones. The original Saaz variety has been successfully cloned 9 times between 1952 and 1993 in an effort to improve these factors. Originally, growers were hesitant to hybridize, fearing the loss of its signature and delicate aroma. This hybridization has become necessary though to breed resistance to wilt and mildew and make it a more viable crop. Despite these few shortcomings, breweries use it prolifically worldwide.
Alpha Acid: 2.5%-4.5%
Beta Acid: 4%-6%
Total Oils: 0.4-0.8 mL/100g
Sterling, Lubelska-Pulawy, Moteuka, Centennial, Amarillo®