In brewing, citrus and Spice and everything nice is how one might describe New Zealand’s Southern Cross variety. A soft bitterness makes it a good early addition to the boil. As a later addition, it features a heady lemon zest and pine needle essence, which makes it a star among its kind.
There doesn’t seem to be any substitute that can come close to the characteristics of Southern Cross. Sierra Nevada brewery released their Southern Hemisphere Harvest fresh hops ale in April of 2014 using Southern Cross, along with Pacifica and Motueka as its finishing hops.
Origin: New Zealand. Bred from New Zealand Smoothcone, English Fuggle, and an American variety, Southern Cross™was first released in 1994 and has been a mainstay of New Zealand craft brewers since.
Usage: Mainly a bittering variety, the low cohumulone levels of Southern Cross™ make it a versatile early-kettle addition in almost any style. However, its pine/citrus aromas are definitely welcome in hoppy American styles.
Aroma & Flavor Characteristics: Mild to moderate. Citrus (especially lemon) with warm pine needles. Late hopping can bring forth the citrus fraction opening up suggestions of dried peel and pith.