Types of Hops

Complicating the equation of Grains + Water + Yeast + Hops = Beer is the variety of the ingredients. Much like wine differs based on grapes, beer differ based off of grain, yeast, water, and yes, even hops. (I won’t talk about adjuncts just yet, as I don’t wish to complicate things even further, but yes, adjuncts come into play as well).

Hops bring two distinct things to the equation, in the form of acids. The amount of alpha acids contributes to the bitter taste of the beer, but not the aroma. The amount of beta acids contributes to the bitter aromas of the beer, but not so much on the taste. When people in the know look for what kind of hops to add to their brew, the amount of alpha and beta acids are high upon what influences their decision.

The largest producers of hops are, not surprisingly, Germany and the United States, with the rest of the world far, far behind.

  • Ahil: From Yugoslavia, and adds a strong bitter taste (Alpha Acid 10-12% / Beta Acids 4-5%)
  • Ahtanum: One of the older American hops, having been around since the mid 1800s. More aromatic in nature. (alpha acid: 5.7-6.3% / beta acid: 5.0-6.5%)
  • Amarillo: Another popular aromatic hop. (alpha acid: 8-11% / beta acid: 6-7%)
  • Cascade: The type of hops I’m most familiar with, because it’s grown almost in my back yard, and it seems to be used alot. Primarily a fragrance hop. (alpha acid: 4.5-6.0% / beta acid: 5.0-7.0%)
  • Centennial: Also known as “Super Cascade”, it is an aroma-type cultivar, but brings along a strong bitter flavor as well. (alpha acid: 9.5-11.5% / beta acid: 4.0-5.0%)
  • Chinook: A high alpha acid hop from America, it is excellent for hopping American-style Pale Ales, especially those brewed to higher gravities. (alpha acid: 12.0-14.0% / beta acid: 3.0-4.0%)
  • Columbus: This high alpha variety has a pungent aroma and clean bittering. Excellent for bitter ales and American IPA styles. (Alpha Acid 14 – 16% / Beta Acid 4.5 – 5.5% )
  • Cluster: One of the older American cultivars. (alpha acid: 5.5-8.5% / beta acid: 4.5-5.5%)
  • Crystal: Aromatic. Very popular in the craft-brewing industry, and often used in Pilsners, Lagers, Koslsches, ESB’s, and Belgian-Style Ales. (alpha acid: 4.0-6.0% / beta acid: 5.0-6.7%)
  • Fuggle: An aroma-type cultivar from England that has been around since the mid-1800′s. Used in English-style ales. (alpha acid: 3.8-5.5% / beta acid: 1.5-2.0%)
  • Galena: A bittering-type cultivar . A good general purpose bittering hop. (alpha acid: 12.5-14.0% / beta acid: 7.5-9.0%)
  • Golding: An aroma-type cultivar originating in England, with many derivations of this plant on the market. An aroma hop, perfect for English-style ales, and lend a unique character to fine lagers as well. it has a spicy aroma and crisp flavor. (alpha acid: 4.0-6.0% / beta acid: 2.0-3.0%)
  • Hallertauer An aroma-type cultivar which originated in Germany. Good in recipes for European-style lagers, with its mild spicy flavor and aroma. (alpha acid: 3.5-5.5% / beta acid: 3.5-5.5%)
  • Hersbrucker: A German aromatic hop, used in Lagers, Pilsners, Bockss, Weizen Bocks, Wheat beers, Belgian-Style Ales, and Munich Helles. (Alpha Acid 3 – 5.5% /
    Beta Acid 4 – 5.5%)
  • Horizon: Another dual purpose hop, that provides both flavor and aroma. (alpha acid: 10.2-16.5% / beta acid: 6.5-8.5%)
  • Liberty: An aroma-type cultivar. (alpha acid: 3.5-4.5% / beta acid: 3.0-3.5%)
  • Magnum: Magnum provides both flavor and aroma.(alpha acid: 10.0-12.6% / beta acid: 5.0-7.0%)
  • Mount Hood:Bred in the United States, it is a good hops for lagers. (alpha acid: 4.0-6.0% / beta acid: 5.0-7.5%)
  • Northern Brewer: A bittering-type cultivar, often used in the breeding process of many newer varieties of hops. This cultivar is grown in England, Belgium, Germany and the USA. Said to be great for steam-style beers and ales. Northern Brewer has a unique mint-like evergreen flavor. (alpha acid: 8.0-10.0%/ beta acid: 3.0-5.0%)
  • Nugget Nugget is a great bittering hop with a heavy herbal aroma. (alpha acid: 12.5-14.5% / beta acid: 4.0-6.0%)
  • Perle: Perle is an aroma-type cultivar grown in Germany, Belgium and the U. S. A. (alpha acid: 7.0-9.5% / beta acid: 4.0-5.0%)
  • Saaz: Saaz is the traditional noble hop for true pilsner beer. (average alpha acid: 3.0%)
  • Satus: Satus is a fairly new bittering-type hop. (alpha acid: 12.5-14.0% / beta acid: 8.5-9.0%)
  • Simcoe: Simcoe is a bittering/aroma type cultivar bred by Yakima Chief Ranches. (alpha acid: 12.0-14.0% / beta acid: 4.0-5.0%)
  • Spalt Select: Aroma based cultivar, grown in Germany in the Hallertau and Spalt areas and in the U.S.A. in Washington State. (alpha acid: 3.5-5.5% / beta acid: 3.0-4.5%)
  • Sterling: Sterling is an aroma cultivar. (alpha acid: 4.5-5.0% / beta acid: 5.0-6.0%)
  • Tettnang Tettnang is an aroma-type cultivar which originated in Germany and is now also grown in the U.S.A. in Oregon and Washington State. It is said to be ideal for lagers and wheat beers. The German variety of this hop has a fine, pure aroma, that is not present in United States version. (alpha acid: 4.0-5.0% / beta acid: 3.5-4.5%)
  • Tomahawk: A bittering hop of recent origin. In 1998 it contributed to 11% of the USA hop crop. (alpha acid: 14.0-18.0% / beta acid: 4.5-5.8%)
  • Ultra: A relatively new cultivar, a near clone of a German variety Hallertauer. (alpha acid: 4.5-5.0% / beta acid: 3.6-4.7%)
  • US Fuggle: A mild-flavored English-style hop grown in Oregon, with a fragrant wood-like aroma. (alpha acid: 4.0 – 5.5%/Beta Acid 1.5 – 2.0%)
  • Vanguard: A new cultivar, mostly used for aromatics. (alpha acid: 5.0-6.0% / beta acid: 5.0-7.0%)
  • Warrior: Warrior is a bittering hop of a recent origin. (alpha acid: 15.0-17.0% / beta acid: 4.5-5.5%)
  • Willamette: A very popular aroma hop from American, contributing in 1998 to 18% of the total USA hop crop. Is said to be an excellent aromatic hops for ales and lagers. (alpha acid: 4.0-6.0% / beta acid: 3.5-4.5%)

These are only some. There are many, many others.