Sabro Hops

by Steve Thanos | Updated: April 23, 2019

Hop Heads have you learned about Sabro hops? As IPAs continue to grow in popularity, so do hop varieties. New hops seem to be popping up everywhere these days.

When I first started homebrewing, Mosaic and Citra hops were already well established. I feel like I missed the opportunity to experience these hops in their infancy. Nevertheless, Sabro comes around and my fear of missing out quickly subsided.

Sabro

A fresh half-pound bag ordered from Yakima Valley Hops.

We first encountered this hop when it was called HBC 438. Brewers fell in love with it and affectionately called it “Ron Mexico.”

Sabro

HBC 438 was the experimental name when this hop first arrived on the market.

From the creators of Citra, Mosaic, and Loral Hops

Sabro was the creation of Hop Breeding Company (HBC). These were the same folks who previously came up with such great beer hops as Citra, Mosaic, and Loral. If it is anything like those hops listed above, there will be plenty of Sabro hopped beers to drink in the future.

Sabro is a very unique hop. It has notable characteristics of fruit and citrus, mostly a distinct tangerine flavor. It also contains coconut, tropical fruit and stone fruit flavors. Interestingly, some have said they have noticed hints of mint, cedar, and even cream. This makes for one insanely unique, nonpareil hop. Upon initial tasting while bottling, I noticed a huge tangerine and mango flavor.

Neomexicanus in heritage, Sabro is indigenous to the American Southwest, specifically in mountains of New Mexico. This is considered a “wild hop.” Sabro’s pedigree is due to a particular cross pollination of a female noemexicanus hop with an unknown father hop.

“Sabro HBC 438 is the culmination of a two-decade-long breeding effort aimed at combining the uniqueness of neomexicanus genetics into a background with good agronomics and exceptional brewing qualities,” says Perrault. “It was a long process, but the results speak for themselves.”

Homebrewer and author, Stan Hieronymus, wrote a very informative article for the American Homebrewers Association.

By the Numbers

Crop: 2018 Pedigree: Neomexicanus Female

Aroma: Fruity, citrus, coconut

Alpha Acids* 12.0 – 16.0%

Beta Acids: 4.0 – 7.0 %

Cohumulone: 20 – 24 % of alpha acids

Total Oil: 2.5 – 3.5 ml/100g

Myrcene: 51 – 68 % of total oil

Humulene: 7 – 14 % of total oil

Caryophyllene: 7 – 11 % of total oil

Farnesene: < 1 % of total oil

Numbers courtesy of Yakima Valley Hops.

Sabro
Sabro

Brewing water prepared and grains milled the day prior to brew day.

Recipe for Closure, my Sabro hopped Pale Ale
Grain
2-Row 8lbs 88.8%
Vienna .5lb 5.6%
Victory Malt .5lb 5.6%

Hops
0.5 oz Sabro 60 min 14AA 24.7 IBU
0.5 oz Sabro 20 min 14AA 15.0 IBU
2ozs Sabro 0 min
2ozs Sabro Dry Hop 5 Days

Yeast

Fermentis US-05 75% Attenuation

Batch Size: 5.5 gallons
Boil Size: 7.5 gallons @ 60 min.
OG: 1.045
FG: 1.009
Color: 4.8
Efficiency: 75%
Bitterness: 45 IBU
ABV: 4.8%

Sabro

Final gravity measuring at 1.014.

Initial tasting did not disappoint. Tangerine and mango dominated. After tasting this beer more and more, I came to the conclusion that this beer was too hoppy to be considered a Pale Ale, but not enough malt backbone to be considered an IPA.

Nevertheless, this hop will have a regular standing in my hop rotation for IPAs, Pale Ales, Hoppy Blonde Ales, and maybe even an Indian Pale Lager.

Sabro

Taste testing has its benefits.

I am the former President of my homebrew club, Plainfield Ale and Lager Enthusiasts (PALE) in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL. I brew on my BIAB system with my incredibly patient and understanding wife, adorable 9 year old daughter, and 12 year old brew dog.