Know Your Hops: A Guide for Aspiring Beer Snobs

Mosaic, citra, or warrior hops? Learn the difference and take your beer know-how to the next level.

By Ramona DeNies June 22, 2015 Published in the July 2015 issue of Portland Monthly

Hops fotor x0cznf
0715 beer hops 01 h1t3zl


Used since 1972 

The USDA and Oregon State University’s collaborative hop breeding program struck gold with Cascade—now the definitive aroma hop of American craft brewing, constituting nearly 17 percent of the nation’s hop harvest in 2014.
Flavor profile: Floral, grapefruit 
Experience: Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale

0715 beer hops 04 dzk5lm


Used since 1983 

OSU’s Hallertau hybrid is low on alpha acids (read: less bitter) but high in myrcene oil (a perfumy compound found also in verbena, lemongrass, and snapdragons).
Flavor profile: Delicate, spicy, floral 
Experience: Bridgeport Trilogy 1


0715 beer hops 03 ysmedq


Used since 2000 

Released by hop breeder Yakima Chief Ranch, this hop is a high-yield monster tailored for brewers looking to break the bitterness bank. 
Flavor profile: Lemon, pineapple, pine
Experience: Heathen Brewing Son of Malice Imperial IPA

0715 beer hops 05 nd2zuh 


Used since 2000 

Another Yakima Chief product and a favorite “foundation” hop among craft brewers, Simcoe is known for its aromatic complexity and bittering utility.
Flavor profile: Passion fruit, apricot, intense pine, musk
Experience: Double Mountain IRA

0715 beer hops 06 y4pbzz


Used since 2007 

This juicy little cone from Washington’s Hop Breeding Company (HBC) has attained the status of “hype hop”—popping up in bold, single-hop brews like Three Floyds’ Zombie Dust (Indiana) and Against the Grain’s Citra Ass Down (Kentucky).
Flavor profile: Strong citrus, tropical fruit (melon, mango, papaya) 
Experience: Widmer Citra Blonde Summer Brew

0715 beer hops 02 g1vdo3


Used since 2012 

Production of HBC’s big, bold daughter-of-Simcoe (bred with Nugget, another OSU standby) outpaced every other variety in Washington state in 2014.
Flavor profile: Blueberry, tangerine, floral, earthy 
Experience: Fearless Mosaic IPA

Filed under
Show Comments