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Comparing and Selecting Hops

So how the heck do I choose the right hops for my beer? With such a wide range of flavor and aroma characteristics, this chart can serve as a helpful guide to more than five dozen varieties. Whether you are trying to duplicate a style or are looking to experiment, the following list can help to get you started. Alpha Acid % Typical Beer Styles Possible Substitutions U.K. Target, U.K. Northdown, U.K. Challenger Flavor Description Known for its bittering potential. Floral, citrus, sharp, and piney. Ale, IPA Cascade, Centennial Citrusy, flowery. U.K. Kent Golding, U.K. Progress, Whitbread Golding Variety Bullion Northdown, Northern Brewer, Galena, Bullion


Admiral (U.K.) Ahtanum Amarillo Bramling Cross (U.K.) Brewer's Gold Brewer's Gold (German)

13.5% Ale to 16% 4% to 6.3% 8% to 9% 5% to 7%

ESB, bitter, pale ale

Quite mild, fruity currant aroma. Bittering hop with neutral aroma character. Black currant, fruity, spicy.

7% to 8.5% 6% to 7%

English ale Ale, heavier German-style lagers


6.5% to 9%

IPA, ESB, stout

A rich hop Columbus, Northern primarily used for Brewer, German bittering. Intense Brewer's Gold blackcurrant aroma. Centennial, Amarillo, possibly Columbus Pleasant, flowery, spicy, and citrusy. Can have a grapefruit flavor. Medium with floral and citrus tones.


4.5% to 7%

Pale ale, IPA, porter, barleywine


8% to 11.5% 6.5% to 8.5%

All ale styles, Cascade, possibly has been used Columbus with wheat beer English-style ales, porter, stout, ESB, bitter U.S. or German Perle, Northern Brewer Nugget, Columbus, Northern Brewer,

Challenger (U.K.)

Mild to moderate, quite spicy. Mild to mediumheavy, spicy,


10% to Pale ale, IPA, 14% stout, porter,

lager Ale and lager (good aroma for ale, good bittering for lager)

U.K. Target

piney, and grapefruity.


5.5% to 8.5%


Medium and quite spicy.


11% to IPA, pale ale, 16% stout

Nugget, Chinook, U.K. Target, Northern Brewer

Pleasant, with pungent aroma.


2% to 4.5% 9% to 12% 6.5% to 8.5% 4% to 5.5%

Lager, pilsner, ESB

Mt. Hood, Hersbrucker, French Mild and pleasant, Strisslespalt, spicy and flowery. Liberty, Hallertauer Galena, Nugget, Chinook U.K. Kent Golding, maybe Crystal U.K. Fuggle, Willamette, Styrian Golding, U.S. Tettnanger Strong but pleasant aroma. A little like Golding family; spicy.

Eroica First Gold (U.K.)


Ale, ESB

Fuggle (U.S.)

Any Englishstyle beer or American ale

Mild and pleasant, earthy and fruity. Mild, pleasant, hoppy, and robust. Medium but pleasant hoppiness, citrusy.

Fuggle (U.K.)

4% to 5.5%

All English-style U.S. Fuggle, ales, ESB, Willamette, Styrian bitter, lager Golding


Ale, porter, 10% to stout, ESB, 14% bitter

Nugget, Pride of Ringwood, Chinook

Golding (U.S.)

4% to 6%

U.K. Golding, Whitbread Golding Pale ale, ESB, Variety, U.K. all English-style Progress, and beer possibly the Fuggle family Lager, pilsner, bock, wheat Liberty, Ultra, Hallertauer Tradition

Mild, extremely pleasant, and gently hoppy.

Hallertauer (U.S.)

3.5% to 5.5%

Very mild, pleasant, and slightly flowery, some spicy. Known for its aromatic properties similar to Hallertauer.

Hallertauer Gold

6% to 6.5%

Crystal, Mt. Hood

Hallertauer Mittelfrh

3% to 5.5%

Lager, bock, wheat, maybe pilsner

Liberty, German Tradition, Ultra

Mild and pleasant. Known for its aromatic properties. A replacement for Hallertauer Mittelfrh. Mild to semistrong, pleasant, hoppy. Pleasantly hoppy.

Hallertauer Tradition (Ger.)

3.5% to 5.5%

Mild-flavored beers

Crystal, Liberty

Hersbrucker (German) Horizon

3% to 5.5%

Lager, pilsner, bock, wheat

Mt. Hood, French Strisslespalt Magnum or a highalpha hop

11% to Ale, lager 14% 4% to 5.5%

Kent Golding (U.K.)

U.S. Golding, All English-style Whitbread Golding ales, ESB, Variety, U.K. bitter Progress Lager, pilsner, bock, wheat Hallertauer Tradition, Hallertauer, Mt. Hood

Gentle, fragrant, and pleasant.


3% to 6%

Mild and clean aroma, slightly spicy character. Known for bittering value and quality. Mild, pleasant, and clean, somewhat pungent and resiny. Fruity with some spiciness.


All beers, 13% to particularly 15% lager, pilsner, stout

Northern Brewer

Mt. Hood

3% to 8%

Lager, pilsner, bock, wheat

Crystal, French Strisslespalt, Hersbrucker

Northdown (U.K.)

7.5% to 9.5%

All ales, porter ESB, bitter, English pale ale, porter, California (steam) beer ESB, bitter, English pale ale, porter Ale, porter, stout, ESB, bitter

Northern Brewer (U.S.) Northern Brewer (German) Northwest Golding

6% to 10%

Nugget, Chinook

Medium-strong with some wild tones. Medium-strong with some wild tones. Known for aromatic properties.

7% to 10% 4% to 5%

Chinook, U.S. Northern Brewer


11% to Light lager 14.5% 11% to 13%

Columbus, Chinook, U.K. Target, Galena Chinook

Quite heavy and herbal. Mild to medium, citrusy aroma, spicy. Known for its aromatic and bittering properties, pleasant and slightly spicy. Moderately intense, good and hoppy, fruity and a little spicy. Similar to U.K. Challenger.


Perle (U.S.)

6% to 9.5%

Pale ale, Northern Brewer, porter, German Cluster, Galena, styles Chinook

Perle (German)

6% to 8.5% 4.2% to 5.5% 8% to 10% 3% to 4.5% 7% to 10% 5% to 7.5% 3% to 4.5% 3% to 5%

Pale ale, porter, lager

U.S. Perle, Northern Brewer U.K. Northdown, U.K. Kent Golding, U.K. Challenger U.K. Kent Golding U.S. Saaz, Czech Saaz, U.S. Tettnanger Galena, Cluster U.K. Kent Golding, Fuggle U.S. Saaz, Polish Lublin

Phoenix (U.K.)

All ales

Pioneer (U.K.) Polish Lublin Pride of Ringwood (Australia) Progress (U.K.)

Ale, ESB

A mild, typical English aroma. Mild and typical of noble aroma types, spicy, herbal. Quite pronounced, woody, earthy, herbal. Moderately strong, good aroma. Very mild with pleasant hoppy notes, earthy, spicy, and herbal. Mild and pleasant, earthy and spicy.


Australian lager Ale, bitter, ESB, porter

Saaz (Czech)


Saaz (U.S.)

Pilsner, lager, Czech Saaz, wheat Polish Lublin German Lager, Tettnanger, American ale, German Spalt, pilsner German Spalt Select Galena


5% to 7.9%

Noble characteristics.


12.5% to 14%

Known for its bittering and aromatic properties.


12% to 14% 4% to 5.5% U.S. Saaz, U.S. Tettnanger, German Spalt Select U.S. Saaz, U.S. Tettnanger, German Spalt

A bittering and aromatic hop. Mild and pleasant, slightly spicy.

Spalt (German)


Spalt Select (German)

4% to 6%

Lager, and any beer where noble aroma is wanted

Very fine Spalter-type aroma.

Spalt Select (U.S.)

3% to 5%

German lagers

Tettnanger, Saaz

Medium intensity and pleasant hoppy qualities. Mediumstrong aroma with wild American tones. Herbal, spicy, pleasant aroma, hint of floral and citrus. Medium intensity, pleasant, hoppy.


6% to 9% 3% to 5%

Lager, ale, pilsner

Saaz, Polish Lublin

Strisslespalt (France) Styrian Golding (Slovenia)

Mt. Hood, Pilsner, lager, Crystal, wheat Hersbrucker All Englishstyle ales, ESB, bitter, lager U.S. Fuggle, U.K. Fuggle, Willamette

4.5% to 6%

Delicate, slightly spicy.

Target (U.K.)

9.5% to 12.5% 3.4% to 5.2% 3.5% to 5.5%

All ale and lager German ales and lagers, American lagers, wheat

Fuggle, Willamette German Spalt, Czech Saaz Santiam German Spalt, German Spalt Select, U.S. Tettnanger, Saaz Columbus

Pleasant English hop aroma, quite intense. An aromatic hop, mild and slightly spicy.

Tettnanger (U.S.)

Tettnanger (German)

Lager, ale

Mild and pleasant, slightly spicy, herbal. Primarily a bittering hop. Very fine and similar to Hallertauer Mittelfrh. Very good to outstanding, some

Tomahawk Tradition (German) Ultra

15% to Ale 17% 5% to 7% 2% to 4.1%

Hersbrucker, Lager, pilsner Hallertauer Mittelfrh Lager, pilsner, Liberty, Hallertauer

wheat, finish hop in ales

Tradition, Saaz

Saaz-like qualities. Aromatic properties similar to Hallertauer. Aroma similar to continental European types. A bittering and aromatic hop. Quite pleasant and hoppy, moderately intense.


4% to 5.67% 15% to Ale, stout 17%

Saaz, Hallertauer Mittelfrh Nugget

Warrior WGV (Whitbread Golding Variety) (U.K.)

5% to 7%


U.K. Kent Golding, U.K. Progress


3.5% to 6%

Pale ale, ESB, bitter, U.S. Fuggle, U.S. English-style Tettnanger, ale, porter, Styrian Golding stout

Mild and pleasant, slightly spicy, fruity, floral, a little earthy. Used as a kettle hop for bittering.

Yakima Cluster Zeus

6% to 8.5% 13% to 17% Columbus

Aromatic and pleasant.