Hop Varieties In Detail

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Below is a list containing information regarding the majority of hops varieties which are available to buy today. No single merchant will sell all of them. Some boutique varieties can be hard to source, so you may have to be flexible. Nevertheless, there are always plenty of hop choices for making great beers. If you need find an alternative to a particular hop variety, consult this page.

The language used to portray hop characteristic is somewhat inadequate, due to the different types of aromatic oils. Consider the smell of a Saaz. It’s rather unique and really wonderful, but we end up using the word “spicy” to portray its aroma. In the context of hops, spicy has a particular meaning, even though there isn’t really anything spicy about Saaz, but the word spicy is essentially the best we can do. Words such as “fruity” and “floral” aren’t much better either. Only when we start using “pine” and “citrus,” do the words begin to make sense.

Generally, its best if you foster your own sense of what each hop variety smells like and what it can add to a beer. It’s a good idea to also understand that a variety may be very different in character and bittering power depending on where it’s grown.

If you would like to learn more about the different hop groups, take a look at our Guide to Hop Varieties and Personality Groups

Variety

Origin

Type

Alpha Acid (%)

Group

Admiral England Bittering 13.5-16.5 Britannic
History and Notes: English character, a high-alpha hop first bred in 1998.

Aroma: Gentle, English, fairly neutral.

Uses:

  • Bittering for a many English- and American-style ales
Ahtanum United States Dual 5.7-6.3 Cascadian
History and Notes: Named after an early hop area located near Yakima, Washington.

Aroma: Floral and citrusy; grapefruitier than Cascade. Similar to Willamette, but slightly more racy.

Uses:

  • Used in many aromatic American ales
  • American versions of English bitters
 Amarillo United States Dual  8-11 Cascadian
History and Notes: Developed in the late 1990s, this hop is now used in sophisticated hoppy beers in the American craft tradition.

Aroma: A gentle floral and intensely citrusy character with a note of the tropical flavours.

Uses:
• American pale ales and IPAs; Belgian IPAs
• American wheat ales
• Single-hop ales
 Aramis France (Alsace) Aroma 7.5-8.5 Styriac
History and Notes: Descended from Strisselspalt, first used in 2013.

Aroma: Fresh, unique, and fruity with notes of apricot, pear, citrus, and herbs.

Uses:

  • Adventurous pale lagers
  • Euro/Belgo pale and golden ales
 Aurora Slovenia Dual  7-9.5 Styriac
History and Notes: Descended from Northern Brewer, a super-Styrian type first used in the 1970s.

Aroma: Mix of spicy and bright grassy aromas.

Uses:

  • Belgian pale-coloured beers
  • Bittering for lagers
Bobek Czech Republic Dual  3.5-7 Styriac
History and Notes: A cross of Northern Brewer with a Yugoslavian breed, first used in the 1970s.

Aroma: Tangy and earthy.

Uses:

  • Bittering for lagers
  • A clean bittering choice for Belgian ales, light or dark
Bramling Cross  England Aroma  5-7 Britannic
History and Notes: A cross between Golding and wild Manitoba.

Aroma: Spicy, with slight blackcurrant notes.

Uses:

  • Aroma for dark hoppy English ales
  • Adds aromatic complexity to English-style pale ales, old ales, and barley wines
Cascade United States, Argentina, New Zealand Dual 4.5-7  Cascadian
History and Notes: First developed in 1972, using open-pollinated seed discovered in 1956. Since its discovery it has been grown in different regions of the world, producing different results.

Aroma: Possesses a distinctive American floral/spice character. Argentine varieties are quite pungent and earthy.

Uses:

  • American pale ale
  • Argentine-grown for Dorada Pampeana (Pampas gold)
Celeia  Slovenia Aroma 3-6 Styriac
History and Notes: A cross between Styrian Goldings, Aurora, and a wild Slovenian hop.

Aroma: A high worth hop, best described as something between Saaz and Styrian Goldings.

Uses:

  • Belgian strong golden ales
  • Suitable for lager bittering
Centennial United States Dual  9.5-11.5 Cascadian
History and Notes: Similar to Cascade, but with higher alpha levels, first used in 1990. Previously known as CFJ 90. Very versatile.

Aroma: Intense floral-fruity aroma, very similar to Cascade.

Uses:

  • Bittering and aroma in a many American-style bitter beers, including IPAs
Challenger England Dual 5-9 Britannic
History and Notes: An extremely versatile English hop.

Aroma: Possesses a continental spicy-fruity aroma.

Uses:

  • English golden/summer bitters and wheat ales
  • Pleasing in a wide range of English ales
 Chinook United States  Dual  11-14 Cascadian
History and Notes: Descendant from the Golding hop; first used in 1985, one of the first strong, resiny high-alpha hops to find favour for aroma.

Aroma: Resiny, piney, strong grapefruit notes.

Uses:

  • Big, grapefruity IPAs and Double IPAs
Citra United States Aroma  11-13 Pacifical
History and Notes: One of the most recent hops in the list, first used in 2007 as an exotic flavour variety.

Aroma: A range of different fruits including lime, lemon, grapefruit, passionfruit, and litchi. Has been known to have a slight undertone of onion

Uses:

  • Funky wheat ales and fruit ales
  • Typical hop for IPAs and other hop-centric styles
Cluster United States Bittering  5.5-8.5  Bittering Only
History and Notes: Arguably the original American hop, first used in the nineteenth century for mainstream lager production.

Aroma: Rather coarse, possesses floral and spicy notes, plus cattiness.

Uses:

  • Pre-Prohibition and other American Pilsner, cream ale, historic steam beer
 Columbus (Tomahawk, Zeus) United States Dual  14-16 Cascadian
History and Notes: A punch of hops, first used in 2000, this hop has quickly become has become a staple for many double IPA brewers.

Aroma: Unique, pepper, pine, and citrus with licorice notes too.

Uses:

  • Double IPAs
  • Great for Belgian IPAs, saisons
 Crystal United States Aroma  3-5.5 Noblesse
History and Notes: Descent of the Hallertauer hop family.

Aroma: Most spicy and tangy of the recent U.S. Hallertau variations.

Uses:

  • Aroma for variations of German-style Pils
  • Excellent for Kölsch and cream ale
Falconer’s Flight United States Dual  10-12  Cascadian
History and Notes: A fusion of “C” hops with experimental varieties.

Aroma: Floral, lemon, grapefruit, and plenty of American character.

Uses:

  • Developed with American pale and India pale ales
  • Has a role in other beers where citrusy American character is appropriate
 First Gold
England Dual 6.5-8.5 Britannic
History and Notes: Dwarf hop with WGV lineage, first used in the 1990s.

Aroma: Bright English Golding character.

Uses:

  • Classically used in English-style pale ales and bitters
Fuggle England Dual  3-6 Britannic
History and Notes: Dates back to 1861. Historically has been considered to be a lesser hop than the Goldings type.

Aroma: Less developed aroma than Goldings, more earthy and woody

Uses:

  • A traditional feature in darker English beers
Galaxy  Australia Dual  11-16 Bittering Only
History and Notes: Descended from the Perle hop family, bred in 1994.

Aroma: Unique citrus and passionfruit undertones.

Uses:

  • Creative interpretations of pale lagers
  • Used to create unique topnotes on IPAs and other hoppy ales
 Galena United States Bittering 12-14 Bittering Only
History and Notes: First used in 1978, this hop comes from Brewer’s Gold ancestry.

Aroma: Strong English flavour with citrus tones, but in general, this is one of the less pungent of the U.S. high-alpha types

Uses:

  • Clean bittering for a wide variety of American craft beers
Glacier United States Dual  5-6.5  Styriac
History and Notes: First used in 2000, it is widely considered to be in the Fuggle family.

Aroma: Somewhat indistinct in character, but extremely clean and elegant.

Uses:

  • Pale Belgian ales and saisons
  • Very-clean aroma in blonde ales and international lagers
Golding United States, Canada Aroma  4-6 Britannic
History and Notes: An american-grown version of the English classic.

Aroma: Mild, pleasant, and quintessentially English.

Uses:

  • Aroma in English-style ales
  • Provides a spot of English flavour to American pale ales, IPAs
 Green Bullet
 New Zealand Bittering  11-14 Styriac
History and Notes: Clean, neutral bittering.

Aroma: Possesses floral and fruity/raisiny aromas.

Uses:

  • Bittering for Southern Hemisphere lagers and ales
  • Bittering for many different Belgian-style ales
Hallertau Blanc  Germany Aroma  9-11 Pacifical
History and Notes: First used in 2013; developed from Hallertau parentage.

Aroma: Floral, lemon, grapefruit with plenty of American character.

Uses:

  • Distinctive aroma notes in delicate beers
  • Excellent in fruit beers
Hallertau Mittelfrüh Germany Aroma  5-7 Noblesse
History and Notes: Original noble aroma hop originating in northern Bavaria; was being replaced by newer varieties until attention from U.S. brewers, notably Boston Beer Co., created some demand.

Aroma: Very cool, herbal, with slight woodiness and hints of mint.

Uses:

  • Timeless in German Pilsners
 Hallertau (US)  United States Aroma  3.5-5.5 Noblesse
History and Notes: American-grown variety of German noble aroma hop.

Aroma: Slightly coarser and more spicy than the classic Mittelfrüh.

Uses:

  • American-style lagers
  • Whenever a dry, herbaceous character is desired
 Hallertau Traditional  Germany Aroma 5-7 Noblesse
History and Notes: Disease-resistant variety based on Hallertau, first used in 1993.

Aroma: Clean, reasonably noble; rather less refined than Hallertau Mittelfrüh.

Uses:

  • Aroma in a wide variety of lagers, particularly German-style ones
 Herald
 England Bittering  11-13 Bittering Only
History and Notes: New high-alpha dwarf, related to Pioneer.

Aroma: Portrayed as having an “acceptable flavour” in the English vein.

Uses:

  • Bittering for a wide variety of English style ales
 Herkules Germany Bittering 12-17 Bittering Only
History and Notes: A more recent, high-alpha hop originating in northern Bavaria.

Aroma: Vague, yet clean with delicate aromas.

Uses:

  • Bittering for a wide range of lagers and continental ales
 Hersbrucker  Germany Aroma 2-5 Noblesse
History and Notes: Traditional German variety not labelled as noble, but possesses a fine aroma regardless.

Aroma: Spicier and more fruity than Hallertauer and perhaps a bit less complex.

Uses:

  • Aroma for a range of lagers and continental ales
Horizon
United States Bittering 11-13 Bittering Only
History and Notes: High-alpha hop first used in 1970, this hop is a descendant of Nugget.

Aroma: Floral and spicy, low cohumulone.

Uses:

  • Used to bitter many types of American-style ales
Kent Golding
England Aroma 4-7 Britannic
History and Notes: Traditionally referred to as the finest traditional English aroma hop.

Aroma: Tangy, spicy, and rather grassy, but still refined in character.

Uses:

  • Traditionally reserved for pale ales
  • Remarkably strong ales and barley wines
Liberty
United States Aroma 3.5-5 Noblesse
History and Notes: A descendant of the American Hallertauer hop.

Aroma: One of the most Hallertau-like of the American Hallertau varieties, but rather floral and fruity, usually accompanied by a pronounced pineapple character.

Uses:

  • Appropriate for aroma in many lager styles
Lublin/Lubelski
Poland Aroma 3-5 Saazy
History and Notes: Traditional Polish hop with Saaz roots.

Aroma: A sophisticated spicy flavour.

Uses:

  • Eastern European lagers
  • Belgian blonde and strong golden ales
Magnum
Germany, United States Bittering 11-16 Bittering Only
History and Notes: High-alpha hop with particular German taste characteristics.

Aroma: Very clean and neutral in character, slight little aroma.

Uses:

  • Bittering for lagers
  • Whenever a very clean bitterness characteristic is required.
Merkur
Germany Dual 12-15 Bittering Only
History and Notes: A modern hop, a descendant of Magnum with low-cohumulone.

Aroma: Bright, spicy/floral, has some earthiness.

Uses:

  • Bittering for all lagers
Millennium
United States Bittering 14.5-16.5 Bittering Only
History and Notes: A successor of Nugget, first used in 2000.

Aroma: Mild and neutral, excellent as a bittering hop.

Uses:

  • Used for its bittering properties in many beer styles.
Mosaic
United States Aroma 11.5-13.5 Cascadian
History and Notes: A descendant of Simcoe, first used in 2012.

Aroma: Dense, with tropical fruits, citrus, berries, pine, and earth.

Uses:

  • Flagship hop for modern IPAs, pale ales
  • Hopped wheat ales
Moteuka
New Zealand Aroma 6.5-8.5 Pacifical
History and Notes: A modern hop bred in New Zealand using the Saaz variety.

Aroma: Very clean lemon-lime citrus; works very well with Saaz.

Uses:

  • Saison, witbier, and various other non-German wheat beers
  • Excellent in fruit ales
 Mounthood United States Aroma  4-8 Noblesse
History and Notes: An American Hallertauer clone which is similar to Hersbrucker. Developed using Liberty, Crystal, and Ultra.

Aroma: Semi-noble, mild, slightly pungent.

Uses:

  • Aroma in a range of blonde ales and lagers when super-traditional aroma isn’t required.
 Mount Rainier
 United States Dual 5-8 Noblesse
History and Notes: Newer variety with German and English heritage.

Aroma: Portrayed as noble with a touch of citrus and liquorice.

Uses:

  • Characterful lagers
  • Dark Belgian ales and American brown ales
 Nelson Sauvin
New Zealand Dual  11-13 Pacifical
History and Notes: A very recent hop, first used in 2000.

Aroma: Very fruity, rather like sauvignon blanc wine, with gooseberry accents; a love-it-or- hate-it hop.

Uses:

  • Single-hop beers
  • Interesting versions of strong goldens and saisons
 Newport  United States Bittering 13.5-17 Bittering Only
History and Notes: First used in 2002, a high-alpha variety with the focus on bitterness.

Aroma: Pungent and rather resinous.

Uses:

  • Bittering for American ales
  • Whenever a sharp, resinous character is wanted
 Northdown  England  Dual 7-10 Britannic
History and Notes: Bred in England in the 1970s, related to Challenger and Target. One of the most popular English dual-use hops.

Aroma: Mellow, a bit dark; closer to Northern Brewer than Goldings.

Uses:

  • Excellent in dark beers
 Northern Brewer
United States, Germany, England  Dual  7.5-10 Britannic
History and Notes: Neutral-tasting adaptable hop, bred in England from Golding parent.

Aroma: Subtle, woody, evergreen notes, with chocolatey bitterness.

Uses:

  • Dark Belgian ales
 Nugget United States, Germany Bittering  12-14.5 Bittering Only
History and Notes: High-alpha hop bred using Brewers Gold and Golding hops, first used in 1983.

Aroma: Delicate and pleasant.

Uses:

  • Workhorse bittering hop for American-style ales
Opal Germany  Dual  5-8 Styriac
History and Notes: Spicy/grassy with almost an English character.

Aroma: A blend of fruity, flowery, citrus, and herbs.

Uses:

  • Belgian ales
  • Alternative versions of German classics
 Pacific Gem
 New Zealand Bittering  13-15  Bittering Only
History and Notes: Newer bittering variety.

Aroma: Fairly coarse mixture of fruit with a slight oakiness

Uses:

  • Great for bittering dark beers
  • Give it a go in wood-aged beers
 Pacific Jade
 New Zealand  Dual 12-14 Pacifical
History and Notes: Adaptable hop first used in 2004.

Aroma: Portrayed as “black pepper and citrus”

Uses:

  • Used in southern hemisphere lagers and golden ales
  • Works well in saisons or new-age hefeweizens
Pacifica
New Zealand Dual 5-6 Noblesse
History and Notes: Hallertau descendant.

Aroma: Noble hop which possesses a New World edge of citrus and flowers, with a touch of orange.

Uses:

  • Lager, golden ale, saison, strong golden
  • Southern Hemisphere IPAs
Palisade
United States Dual 5.5-9.5 Britannic
History and Notes: A High-alpha hop with an adaptable character.

Aroma: Floral and fruity, a mixture of English and German character which possesses some earthiness.

Uses:

  • General bittering
  • Aroma for exciting versions of lagers or traditional European ales
Perle
Germany, United States Dual  6-10 Noblesse
History and Notes: Descendant of the German Hallertau variety, first used in 1978.

Aroma: Spicier than Hallertau, with elegant floral and fruity notes.

Uses:

  • Noble hop alternative in lagers and elsewhere
  • Excellent in weiss
Phoenix
England Dual  8.5-11.5 Britannic
History and Notes: A modern hop.

Aroma: Possesses a bright and attractive English character.

Uses:

  • Bittering for English pale ales, IPA, golden bitter
  • Presents English notes to New World ales
Pilgrim
England Dual  7-11 Britannic
History and Notes: A newer hop variety developed in England and first used in 2000.

Aroma: Citrus notes accompanied with dark cedar and honey character; rather earthy.

Uses:

  • English wheat or summer ales
  • Saison and witbier
Pioneer
England Dual  8-10 Britannic
History and Notes: A dwarf variety first used in the 1990s.

Aroma: Attractive, clean bitterness with a mild English aroma, accompanied by hints of citrus.

Uses:

  • Presents complexity to English pale and golden ales
  • Non-German wheat ales
Pride of Ringwood
 Australia Dual  8.5-10 Bittering Only
History and Notes: An unusual Tasmanian wild/English cross.

Aroma: Rugged and spicy English-character hop.

Uses:

  • Used for bittering darker ales
Progress
England Aroma 4-7 Britannic
History and Notes: WGV and American cross, first used in the 1960s.

Aroma: Strong English character, resembles Fuggle, yet slightly sweeter.

Uses:

  • Aroma in wide variety of English-style ales
Rakau
 New Zealand  Dual  10-11 Cascadian
History and Notes: Grown as a pleasant bittering variety, has Saaz ancestry.

Aroma: Tangy, with tropical aroma highlights of passionfruit, mango, and peach, also slightly peppery and spicy; low cohumulone.

Uses:

  • Southern Hemisphere lagers and ales, particularly Australian golden bitters and some sparkling ales
  • Whenever a beer requires fruity character.
Riwaka New Zealand  Aroma  4.5-6.5  Saazy
History and Notes: Hails from the Saaz hop, first used in 1997.

Aroma: Saazy spiciness, mixed with lots of grapefruit and other citrus character.

 Uses:

  • Used in Southern Hemisphere IPAs
Saaz Czech Republic, United States  Aroma 2-8  Saazy
History and Notes: The traditional Pilsner hop which initially hailed from Bohemia; when grown elsewhere, Saaz has a less distinct character.

Aroma: Often described as spicy, but that usually just means “Saazy”.

 Uses:

  • The definitive spicy/herbal hop used in Pilsner beers
  • Belgian strong golden ales and Tripels, goes well when combined with Styrians.
Santiam  United States  Dual  5-7 Noblesse
History and Notes: First used in 1997, daughter hop of Tettnang and Halletau.

Aroma: Crisp, noble hop character.

 Uses:

  • Appropriate bittering and aroma for most Germanic beers
  • Provides unique character to hoppy ales
Saphir  Germany Aroma 2-4.5  Noblesse
History and Notes: Low cohumulone aroma hop first used in 2002.

Aroma: Unique flowery and fruity character.

 Uses:

  • Eccentric Germanic beers or Euro-pale ales, wheat ales, Kölsch
  • Single-hopped beers
Savinjski (Styrian) Golding  Slovenia Aroma 3-6 Styriac
History and Notes: Previously referred to as Styrian Goldings. This hop is essentially Fuggles after being transferred to Slovenia in the last century.

Aroma: Fuggles, with additional rich Golding character.

Uses:

  • Classic in pale-colored Belgian ales
  • Slavic ales
 Simcoe United States Dual  12-14 Cascadian
History and Notes: A modern bittering hop with a unique and pleasant aromatic character.

Aroma: Distinctive apricot aroma along with piney and citrusy overtones.

 Uses:

  • Single-hop ales
  • Belgian, American IPAs
 Smagard (Emerald) Germany  Dual  4-6  Noblesse
History and Notes: A member of a series of hops named after gemstones, first used in 2000.

Aroma: Fruity and flowery.

Uses:

  • Goes well in altbiers and Kölschs
Sorachi Ace United States  Dual  10-16 Pacifical
History and Notes: A modern hop with a complex history involving noble Eurohops and Japanese varieties.

Aroma: Distinctive citrusy punch, said to have a touch of dill aroma.

 Uses:

  • Fashionable in single-hop beers
  • Saison and other pale Belgian styles
 Southern Cross New Zealand Bittering 11-14 Bittering Only
History and Notes: Bittering hop, first used in 1994.

Aroma: Lemon zest, pine/resin, with some spice.

 Uses:

  • Southern Hemisphere lager bittering, or rare IPAs
  • Used to bitter hoppy red, brown, and rye ales
 Spalter Germany Aroma 2-5.5  Noblesse
History and Notes: A much respected, traditional German noble hop.

Aroma: Not as herbal as Hallertau, yet not as spicy as Saaz.

Uses:

  • Excellent in altbier and Kölsch
Spalter Select Germany Aroma  3-6.5 Noblesse
History and Notes: Disease-resistant strain of Spalt, first used in 1991.

Aroma: More alike to Tettnang or Hersbrucker than Spalt.

Uses:

  • Euro-lagers and wheat beers
 Sterling United States Aroma  6-9 Saazy
History and Notes: First used in 1998, hails from European ancestry.

Aroma: Attractive mix of herbs and spices accompanied by hints of flowers and citrus; fairly Saaz-like.

Uses:

  • American Pilsners, wheat ales
 Strisselspalt France Aroma  2-3 Noblesse
History and Notes: Traditional French/Alsatian variety, likely to be related to Hallertauer.

Aroma: Crisp, slightly spicy.

Uses:

  • Many French and Belgian beers, particularly bière de garde
 Summit United States Bittering 16-19  Bittering Only
History and Notes: Dwarf hop which is a descendant of Nugget, first used in 2003.

Aroma: Said to have a touch of onion and garlic accompanied with citrus and spice.

Uses:

  • Bittering for a wide variety of ales
Target England  Bittering  8-13 Bittering Only
History and Notes: An older, high-alpha variety which is a descendant of the Kent Golding hop; usually involved in extract products.

Aroma: Very intense.

Uses:

  • Bittering for English-style beers
 Taurus Germany  Bittering 12-17  Bittering Only
History and Notes: Hails from the Hallertau hop, bred at the German Hops Research Institute.

Aroma: Extremely high alpha acid with some German character.

Uses:

  • Crisp bitterness, useful for lagers and other beers where a neutral character is desired.
Tettnanger  Germany, United States  Aroma  3-6  Noblesse
History and Notes: An established Bavarian aroma hop related to Saaz.

Aroma: Bright, crisp, with a slight spiciness.

Uses:

  • Excellent in weissbier
  • A traditional element of many American lagers
 Ultra United States Aroma  2.2-3.5 Saazy
History and Notes: A modern, high quality aroma hop.

Aroma: Attractive Saaz character.

Uses:

  • Czech-style Pilsners, Belgian-style golden ales
 Vanguard United States  Dual 5-6 Noblesse
History and Notes: Bred in 1997 using Hallertau parentage.

Aroma: Soft, with a noble character, accompanied by a touch of spice.

Uses:

  • Aroma for a range of continental lagers and ales
 Wakatu  New Zealand  Bittering 6.5-8.5  Pacifical
History and Notes: Descendant of Hallertau with wild New Zealand varieties.

Aroma: Strong piney and orange notes.

Uses:

  • Goes well in IPAs and similar styles
  • Excellent in hoppy dark beers such as black IPAs
 Warrior United States Bittering  15-17 Bittering Only
History and Notes: A modern, high-alpha variety with some aromatic use.

Aroma: Mild and rather indistinct. Very crisp bittering hop.

Uses:

  • Multipurpose bittering-only hop
 WGV (Whitbread Golding Variety) England Dual  5-8  Britannic
History and Notes: A Conventional English hop which came to fame in the nineteenth century.

Aroma: A sweet, fruity aroma; slightly coarse.

Uses:

  • Bittering and aroma for a wide range of English-style ales
 Willamette United States  Dual 4-6  Britannic
History and Notes: American-grown form of Fuggle.

Aroma: English character, parallel to Fuggle, but slightly softer.

Uses:

  • American versions of English-style ales
  • Provides English character to any beer
 Zythos United States 10-12.5  Aroma  Cascadian
History and Notes: An exclusive mix of newer hop varieties.

Aroma: Pineapple, citrus with a bit pine character.

Uses:

  • Pale ales, IPAs, and other hop-forward American style ales

 

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