Say farewell to the dull tasteless beer hops of the past, tangy and fruity beer have overthrown the beers of old, becoming the preference of most beer-drinkers around the world. The beer revolution started with Centennial and Cascade, but the rise of Citra marked the victory of flavor over tradition.
Countries have started introducing their own versions of tangy and fruity hops, seeking to capture the brilliance of Citra.
1. Germany’s Mandarina Bavaria
Germany may be known for its noble hops, but it’s the newer hops like Mandarina Bavaria that’s taking the world by storm. Even with its noble lineage, the hop more closely resembles American hops when it comes to flavor and aroma.
Mandarina Bavaria produces rich flavors of berry, lemon, lime, and a very distinct tangerine (or Mandarin orange). Its pure fruit and citrusy flavors are often comparable to the American Citra or at least the Australian Galaxy.
As a bittering hop, it produces a crisp bitterness, and it exudes a hint of its noble roots (hints of spice and mint) when used for aroma.
2. New Zealand’s Motueka
Often overshadowed by the wine-like Nelson Sauvin, Motueka is another Kiwi hop that has gained quite a few following. Unlike Nelson Sauvin, Motueka’s flavor profile is purely citrusy, with notes of tropical fruit, lemon and strong lime.
Kiwi’s will often compare drinking Motueka to taking shots of mojito. It has a malty sweetness, making it more appropriate for lagers, pilsners, and English ales. New Zealand produces and exports a very small volume of it, so you might have a harder time finding it in your local brewing stores.
3. South Africa’s African Queen
African Queen was supposed to hit the market in 2017, but problems with supply delayed its release. It’s now available, but you’ll have to do a bit of digging to get one. African Queen produces fruity and citrusy notes of blueberry, passion fruit, black currant, gooseberry, and stone fruit.
You’ll also get milder tones of herbs, lemongrass, and spice.
4. Japan’s Sorachi Ace
In the Orient, Soraci Ace is the king of Citrusy hops, perhaps because it is the only one. Although hops originated in Asia, very few countries have devoted the time to research hop varieties for use in brewing. Japan is the exception, and Sorachi Ace is one of its more successful hops.
It produces strong lemon tones with mild coriander and herbal tones. It is a multi-purpose hop, but brewers often note a strong dill flavor when it is used for bittering.
5. Australia’s Galaxy
Galaxy is Australia’s Citra, both in flavor and popularity. Galaxy is pure fruit, and its citrusy levels almost match that of Citra’s. Its flavor profile is dominated by passion fruit and peach, with a hint of pineapple in the mix. Like Citra, Galaxy is popular around the world, and Australia has made it widely available.
For many, Citra is the gateway to the world of citrusy hops. However, the floodgates have been opened, and citrusy hops from all over the world are vying to take Citra’s throne.