Meet Saaz. The personality behind our beer!
Hops have a lot of personality. This personality comes from a huge number of compounds that make each hop variety special in one way or another. Each and every one of these compounds affects the beer in a certain way, depending on the way they are used.
Today, there are more than a hundred hop varieties in use and many more in development. The best thing is that each year new varieties appear, bringing new flavors for the brewers to play with. Hop variety breeding programs were never this busy in the entire history of brewing!
Saaz is a legendary Czech hop that has a lot of personality and brings a noble, spicy, herbal and pleasant earthy character to beer. It is one of the four noble hops and has been around for more than 700 years. Today, Saaz remains influential as ever. Thanks to its strong personality and character, many modern hop varieties are connected to Saaz. New Zealand was especially active in this sense. Motueka and Riwaka, two very popular varieties, were bred from Saaz. In the beginning, they were even named B Saaz and D Saaz. Motueka brought together the best out of Saaz and an unknown New Zealand variety to form a hop that gives beer a big tropical and citrusy aroma. Riwaka is very popular in New Zealand thanks to its rich citrusy aroma. New Zealand hop growers, thanks to their hop-friendly climate and rich hop varieties, took inspiration from the legendary Saaz and brought something new to the world. Some other hops that have Saaz roots are Lubelska-Pulawy (Poland), Sterling and Ultra (both USA) and Shinshuwase (Japan). There is also a Saaz (US) hop that shares some of the character of the original.
Just like Saaz inspired many hop growers to breed new varieties, Saaz keeps inspiring Staropramen brewers to keep brewing great Czech lagers. It is all in the personality, right?