What flavor do hops have?
What flavor do hops have?
Hops are the key to crafting masterful beer. As a result, they play a massive role in the beer brewing process.
The cone-shaped flowers of the plant are cultivated and dried in the fall.
Brewers cherish the flavors and aromas of these tiny vine-grown buds. First, they add to a beer's taste. Second, hops impart savory sensations to beer that might be sweet or out of balance. Third, hops establish the flavor as citrusy, pine-like, herbal, and earthy aromatics. Finally, hops maintain a classic foamy beer and lend antibacterial qualities that prevent spoilage.
Beers brewed with just one hop variet y are rare. Instead, Brewmasters typically combine multiple types for depth in flavor. American hops are valued worldwide for the bold, intense flavors of beer. The variety of American grown hops is quite staggering.
Northern Brewer is best known in the U.S. for appearing in steam or California common beers. Northern Brewer delivers a woodsy mintiness alongside pine-like aromas.
Anchor Steam was the beer that started the craft beer revolution in the U.S. It is hopped exclusively with Northern Brewer.
Cascade hops are what started the hoppy American craft beer revolution. Its flavor evokes grapefruit or grapefruit rind, but Cascade can also be an intensely floral hop.
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale offer the tastes of Cascade.
Centennial hops are nicknamed "Super Cascade" because the two hops' have similar aromas. Centennial is a bit more floral, but you should expect a balance of flowery and grapefruit-like aromas.
Bell's Two Hearted Ale is a delicious IPA that uses only Centennial for its potent hoppy flavor.
Chinook is the most pine-like hop available to brewmasters. Chinook sets the tempo for other hops to shine. It is an overtly pine-like aroma with a touch of mellow citrus.
Stone's Arrogant Bastard is the first beer people think of when they hear Chinook.
Willamette Hops are grown domestically from the English hop Fuggle to produce a mellow earthy spiciness considered brighter and more citrusy than English Fuggle hops.
Citra hops are packed with citrus flavor. However, alongside their orangey character is a fruit bowl of other aromas: mango, passion fruit, pineapple, and peach are all commonly used to describe this hop.
Citra hops are the dominant hop in tough-to-find brews. Citra® hops contain higher Geraniol content, biotransformed by yeast into Citronellol, a highly sought-after aroma compound in fruit-forward IPAs. The hop's flavor is found in beers like Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA.
Simcoe hops are common in American beers. Its intense and complex aroma reminds drinkers of grapefruit, pine, sweet onion, and tropical fruit.
For a Simcoe-specific taste, try Weyerbacher Double Simcoe, a double IPA made exclusively with the hop.
Mosaic has become the darling in the craft beer world since its release in 2012. For some, its flavor recalls blueberries. Other tastes include intense pine and fruity notes, including tangerine, pineapple, and peach. Terrapin, Ninkasi, and Epic Brewing from New Zealand have made single-hop beers with Mosaic, but expect many more as this hop grows in popularity.
Amarillo Hops have a punchy aroma of orange blossoms, a distinctive and popular hop in many American beers. Look for Amarillo's hops in Three Floyd's Gumballhead or Green Flash Hop Head Red.
Internationally, hops are the local characteristic that makes each beer unique to its homeland. German and Czech hops are known as Noble hops. These hops
have a range of aromas, from soft and floral to earthy and spicy. Hallertauer Mittelfrüh is also known as Hallertau" or "Hallertauer. This variety is Continental Europe's most famous hop variety is gentle and floral, with a slightly peppery or woodsy spiciness. Fresh, locally-brewed versions offer you the best opportunity to experience German noble hops. Hop aroma is the first thing to fade as beer travels and ages.
Tettnanger or "Tettnang provides a zesty and grassy, with an earthy spiciness and a touch of citrusy aromatics. Spalt, also known as "Spalter," are Easy-going, woodsy, and peppery hops.
Saaz, also called Žatec or Saazer, is a Czech hop known for its assertive earthy spiciness, reminiscent of Spalt and Tettnanger. The well-known Czech pilsner, Pilsner Urquell, offers a great way to taste the hop in all its glory.
English hops comprise only one percent of the world's total production. They, however, have a dedicated cult following. These tend to be grassy, floral, lemony, woodsy, minty, or tea-like. English hops are used in classic beers of English origin or worldwide spin-offs. British beers often maintain a relatively even balance of malt and hop flavor, but English bitters and IPA will show you what English hops can do.
You may giggle at the name, but Fuggle Hops are earthy, cedary, minty, and floral hops. The Fuggle hop was first discovered in 1861. Fourteen years later, Richard Fuggle of Benchley officially named it in 1875.
Used in many English pale ales, Challenger hops have a tea-like earthiness alongside a lemon marmalade-like fruity bitterness. Challenger is the resulting cross of Northern Brewer and a German variety named Zattler. It became one of the top hops grown in the U.K. into the '90s. Coniston's Bluebird Bitter is a delightfully hoppy beer brewed with just Challenger hops. Golding, more formally East Kent Golding or Kent Golding, has been popular for over 200 years thanks to its earthy, peppery, and lemon-like character.
Hops from Australia and New Zealand can be woodsy and earthy or ultra-bright and juicy. Nelson Sauvin or "Nelson" recalls the aroma of Sauvignon Blanc wine grapes grown alongside these hops in the New Zealand region of Nelson. Expect big-time lychee, melon, and gooseberry flavor.
Thornbridge's Kipling demonstrates a beautiful expression of this hop, but it's popping up in all kinds of beers these days, including New Belgium's Shift Pale Lager.
Australia's Galaxy is most commonly associated with passion fruit-like juiciness, but its flavor can have a peachy or orange tilt as well.
Bred from Saaz parentage, New Zealand's Motueka has some of the spiciness associated with its Czech parents, but with a bright lime-like pop and some of the tropical fruitiness associated with its kiwi brethren.