If you brew beer, ideas and recipes often pop into your head. There are few things more rewarding than a hop bill that fits together perfectly. Everyone knows about the Centennial, Cascade, Columbus, Citra, Simcoe, and many other mainstream hop varieties. These are all wonderful and make any ale outstanding. However, why not try some of the lesser known hop varieties that are way underrated. Did you know about Nelson Sauvin and its grape profile? Have you ever dry hopped with Apollo? On your next batch, try a hop that you have never used before! Here are 15 hop varieties you may or may not know about. Try one…or more of them. Your beer will love your for it.
Recently released in 2012, this is the grand baby of Pacific Jade. It has a fresh squeezed citrus profile with hints of pine. Waimea has high alpha acid levels and can be used as a bittering boss or an aroma phenom.
Buy Waimea Hops
A cross blend by Hopsteiner. This is a dual purpose hop that works for both aroma and can also be used for bitterness. It has a floral profile with a kick that some describe as melon, pear, or apple with a squeeze of lemon.
Buy Calypso Hops
This is a fairly new hop blend that most of us have heard about by now. It was created to satisfy the West Coast Style aromas addicts like myself. Citrus, tropical fruit, pine, and a little spice make this a serious player in the game.
Buy Zythos Hops
This is an amazing blend of Simcoe, Citra, Sorachi Ace, and a few other undisclosed hops. HopUnion developed this blend to honor the legendary Glen Hay Falconer. It is a perfect late addition packing a floral and tropical fruit profile.
Buy Falconer’s Flight Hops
This is a very unique creation by Washington’s hop breeding company. If Nugget and Simcoe had a love child, Mosaic would be her name. It has an unexpected floral and fruity profile accompanied by the piney Simcoe DNA that shines through as an earthy addition. Alchemy Hour Double IPA uses Mosaic to get those one of a kind aromas.
Buy Mosaic Hops
Developed by the CLS Farms and released in 2010, this masterpiece has mostly sat in the shadows with no excuse. The blend is kept a guarded secret but I will tell you this one is blasted with citrus and tropical fruit. I would best describe the flavor as a mouthful of Jolly Ranchers.
Buy El Dorado Hops
One of the most unique hops varieties available that can be used as a dual purpose. It has an aroma and flavor similar to Sauvignon Blanc grapes and really balances out with most bittering hops.
Buy Nelson Sauvin Hops
Developed by Indie Hops out of Oregon in an attempt to bring Columbia Hops back from the forgotten tomb. Well they ended up creating a new variety. Meridian packs lemon zest, sweetness, and some describe it as Hawaiian Punch.
Buy Meridian Hops
Most of us have heard of Galaxy. Have you tried brewing with this beauty from down under? It is a very nice aroma gifted dual purpose hop loaded with citrus and fruity notes. The uniqueness comes from the grassy/earthy finish. Find it and try it!
Buy Galaxy Hops
This New Zealand creation that some refer to as B Saaz is a relative of the legendary Saaz hop that we all love in our pils and lagers. It has a smooth citrus/fruity profile that adds a clean finish to any ale. Motueka would fit well into the IPL fad that is currently working its way through the craft beer realm.
Buy Motueka Hops
Motueka has a little brother and his name is Riwaka. This is also referred to as Saaz D. If you have ever wondered what a west coast style Saaz would be like…here you go. It is not an easy hop to locate. However, if you do find it, buy it!
Buy Riwaka Hops
Developed by the Yakima Chief Ranch, this is a solid dual purpose hop that is better used on the aroma end. It packs a grassy yet fruity punch unlike most hops. Looking for a unique IPA? Try it as a late addition and you will be surprised!
Buy Palisade Hops
Strickle what? Another New Zealand hop developed by DSIR Research that can serve as a dual purpose hop. Simcoe similarities of pine with a Sorachi Ace lemon zest.
Buy Stricklebract Hops
This is a seedless variety developed in Australia as an aroma hop. Summer is one of only few hop varieties that pack a apricot and melon profile. It would pair nicely with some of the popular west coast style American hops.
Buy AU Summer Hops
First cultivated in 2000, this totally underrated hop packs an alpha acid bite and an orange citrus aroma. This is a solid hop to use in a double or imperial IPA as a first addition and late addition.
Buy Apollo Hops
Of course there are plenty of other amazing hops that are often forgotten. Please let me know if you have any ideas as to some that I should add to this list. Cheers to brewing good beer and cheers to drinking that good beer!