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Monday, October 01, 2012

The Curious Case of the US "Tettnanger"

Thank heavens for the human brain.  Confronted with an assault of millions of random data fragments, it pulls together relevant bits to make meaning.  In the case of hops, my faulty old software managed to cobble together something interesting from two bits of data:
  1. Assembling my annual list of hops, I was impressed by how many recent(ish) strains have Tettnanger in their lineage.  
  2. I got to spend some time with Stan "Mr Hops" Hieronymus this week, wherein we discussed hop parentage, and wherein I happened to mention this Tettnanger issue.  And Stan revealed a fascinating truth: most of those children were birthed not by Tettnang Tettnanger, the German original, but by US Tettnangers which are in fact ... Fuggles.
Here's how the USDA addresses the hop's lineage:
CULTIVAR: US Tettnanger. (supposedly Tettnanger, but quality differs significantly. Trade experts judge it to be a Fuggle

PEDIGREE: Uncertain; this hop supposedly came from the heat treated USDA 61021 (Swiss Tettnanger) from Prosser, WA but may have become mixed with Fuggle (USDA 48209)

And Fuggles are the parent hop to much of what we hold dear in American hopping, beginning with Cascade and Willamette.  I expect we'll learn much more from Stan when his book For the Love of Hops comes out in a couple months.

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