July 19, 2019

Hop Varieties: Mighty Axe Feature

The trend of defining a hop solely by its bitterness potential is disappearing. Dying are the days where beers were prized for their ability to top the IBU(international bitterness units) chart. Brewers have started to yearn for hops with depth in their flavor and diversity in their aroma. Anticipating the need for this within the brewing industry, Mighty Axe Hops began tweaking standard hop growing practices to emphasize a hop’s quality beyond its bitterness.

Combining the terroir of Minnesotan soil with these new methods, they began to redefine what a hop is capable of while simultaneously providing a high quality product. Three custom hop varieties grew from this experiment.

Their names are: Tropica, Julius, and Zenia.


Genetic Hop Varietal


Hop Characteristics

Tropica’s name is a statement. Some brewer’s have claimed it smells like pineapple flavored White Gummie Bears. While pineapple is definitely the most distinct aspect, faint notes of cannabis and pine can also become present. Although, to get the maximum amount of pineapple flavor it’s best to use Tropica during the dry hopping stage.

Growing Tropica Hops

Tropica is grown with the brewer in mind. It’s main influence is the native Minnesotan terroir. Harvest time isn’t as heavily manipulated during the process, but it is dried below 120ºF. Curious about the properties that formulate Minnesota’s unique terroir? Tropica is a perfect example.

Shop Tropica Hops


Genetic Hop Varietal


Hop Characteristics

Julius has the broadest spectrum of features among the three varieties. Depending on how it’s prepared flavors can stretch between peach, sweet orange and even vanilla. Whirlpooling tends to accentuate peach and ripe orange, whereas dry hopping will highlight the sweet orange and vanilla. Whimsically described as a dreamsicle these hops grab their name from the fantastically delicious beverage Orange Julius. In order to achieve peak aroma use these hops during the dry hopping stage.

Growing Julius Hops

Julius is picked on the late side of its harvest window and dried below 120ºF. This combined with Minnesota’s terroir create a hop with characteristics that are completely different from what you’d expect of this hop variety.

Shop Julius Hops


Genetic Hop Varietal

Zeus(aka CTZ)

Hop Characteristics

Zenia is dank, extremely dank. It’s definitely the most potent of these three varieties. Expect overwhelming notes of cannabis if used during the dry hopping stage, but understand the aroma will mellow out into a jammy orange flavor.

Growing Zenia Hops

Zenia is picked far outside it’s traditional ripe time and dried under 120ºF. Instead of getting pelleted after it’s dried, Zenia is baled. The hops are left inside of a cooler for months to allow the onion and garlic aromas to dissipate. This is what gives Zenia its extremely dank cannabis odor.