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Hop around the world: 10 hop flavors you should know

Get up to speed on 10 different hop varietals and the flavors they bring to your brew.

Hops color beer with everything from pine to grapefruit to mango flavors, making hops the most versatile ingredient in the alcohol business. But, with more than 100 varieties, it’s easy to get beer’s bittering element confused. Browse through these 10 hops—from traditional noble types to new flavors from Down Under—to learn which variety you’re tasting.

 
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Northern Brewer
Northern Brewer may have originated in England, but one of the most famous expressions of its unique woody, minty character is San Fran’s Anchor Steam Beer.
Columbus
A blend of American hops goes into Avery IPA, but there’s no mistaking the citrusy, resinous Columbus, a product of Yakima Valley hop supplier HopUnion’s breeding program in the 1990s.
Sorachi Ace
Brooklyn Brewing’s Sorachi Ace saison first introduced American craft drinkers to the eponymous Japanese hop’s intense lemon zest and lemongrass profile.
East Kent Goldings
Hailing from Kent, England, this stalwart British hop lends delicate floral and spice notes to beers like Firestone Walker DBA.
Nelson Sauvin
This was one of the first New Zealand hop varieties to make waves in the U.S.: By imparting a Sauvignon Blanc-like tropical fruitiness to beers like Karl Strauss Big Barrel Double IPA, it’s easy to see why.
Saaz
As classic as they come: The Czech Saaz hop gives traditional pilsners like Pilsner Urquell that much-loved mildly earthy, spicy hop bite.
Simcoe
Russian River Pliny the Elder was one of the first beers to showcase the floral, piney and sometimes catty Simcoe hop from Washington’s Yakima Valley.
Hallertau
German Hallertau’s broken into a number of sub-varieties, which all specialize in delivering spicy, grassy and floral notes to beers like Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower.
Cascade
This hop’s vivid grapefruit character is ubiquitous among American pale ales and IPAs—it’s the headlining hop of standard-setting Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Citra
This hop variety hit the scene in 2007, giving beers like Three Floyds Zombie Dust orange, grapefruit and tropical mango notes.
Published January/February 2013
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