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Today I’m starting a new post series on Craft Beer Academy. I’ve talked about hops before and by now I would hope that yo understand their importance to beer if you are reading this. Hops are not just an ingredient in beer, but rather they are a quintessential part of a work of art that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I’m starting a weekly post series on hops. Once a week I am going to pick a hop variety and give some basic information about it, including where it grows, what it’s flavor and aroma characteristics are, when it was first used, etc. Basically I want to give you everything you would want to know about these hop varieties.

Without any more introduction, here is the first in my new weekly series on hops. Enjoy!

Hop Of The Week – Amarillo
Amarillo hops are a variety of hops that is used primarily for aroma in brewing. While many varieties of hops are grown using rhizomes, which are basically clippings that you can grow new bines from, these are a patented plant grown specifically by Washington State’s Virgil Gamache farms. They are proprietary to this farm and they even hold a trademark on the name!


Amarillo are of the American variety of hops, and while commonly used for aroma, they give a unique citrus/orange flavor. The aroma it gives off is generally grapefruit-like and can be somewhat pungent if used in large amounts.


Amarillo hops are a very popular variety of hops, and as such, can be hard to come by without a growing contract with the Virgil Gamache Farms.


With it’s unique citrus aroma and taste, the Amarillo hop has been used somewhat frequently as the hops choice for single-hop beers like Rogue’s Yellow Snow IPA.




The Low Down

  • Source – Virgil Gamache Farms – Washington State, USA
  • Brewing Usage – Mainly used for aroma
  • Aroma – Citrus with grapefruit-specific notes
  • Flavor – when used correctly, sweet orange-y flavor, but can turn slightly metallic in abundance
  • Alpha Acids – 8-11%
  • Beta Acids – 6-7%
  • Possible Substitutions – Cascade, Centennial
  • Beer Styles – American IPA, American Ale, Wheat Beers



Commercial Examples

  • Three Floyds Gumballhead
  • Smuttynose IPA
  • Rogue Yellow Snow IPA
  • Brewdog 77 Lager
  • Mikkeller Single Hop Amarillo IPA



More information on Amarillo Hops:

  • USA Hops
  • Wikipedia
  • How to Identify Hops In Beer

Thanks for reading, and make sure to sign up for the CBA Mailing List to keep up to date with new posts and even some upcoming contests!






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