Northern Brewer hops are a variety of hops initially bred in England in 1934 as part of the high-alpha breeding program at Wye College. They were developed specifically for Scottish & Newcastle Breweries and initially grown in North England. They have a high alpha content and are known for their pleasing bittering and aroma qualities, which include hints of pine, mint, and woody notes.
Northern Brewer hops are dual-purpose hops that can be used for both bittering and aroma in brewing applications. They are currently one of the main varieties grown in the German Hallertau region, where they have developed more fragrant aroma qualities and a more refined evergreen mintiness. They are primarily used as a bittering hop in Germany and have a more “noble” and less intense profile than when grown elsewhere.
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|Hop Growers Code:||NBR WFB 135|
Where To Buy Northern Brewer Hops
Northern Brewer Flavor And Aroma
Northern Brewer is a dual-purpose hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:
spice, black pepper
Northern Brewer Hop Oil Breakdown
Hop oils can vary from year to year and farm to farm but based on our research, here are the typical values we have seen reported. This information comes from various hop farms, The Hop Aroma Compendium, and For The Love Of Hops.
|Alpha Acid % (AA)|
Alpha acids are what is isomerized when boiling to create bitterness in beer.
|8% – 10%|
|Beta Acid %|
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
|3% – 5%|
This ratio of alpha acids to beta acids determines how quickly bitterness fades during aging. Lower ratios are common for aromatic varieties.
|1:1 – 3:1|
|Co-Humulone as a % of Alpha|
Higher numbers are said to impart a harsher bitterness.
|20% – 30%|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)|
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
|1.5mL – 2mL|
|50% – 60%|
|20% – 30%|
|5% – 10%|
|0% – 1%|
|Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||8% – 27%|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI)|
The HSI indicates the percent of alpha and beta acids lost after 6 months of storage at room temperature (68°F or 20°C).
|Retains 70%-85% alpha acid after 6 months storage at 20ºC (68ºF).|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI) Rating||Good – Great|
Northern Brewer Hop Substitutions
Replacing one hop for another is seldom straightforward but sometimes you don’t have the right hop or the right quantity of hops for the beer you want to make. For those situations, we have made a comprehensive list of hops to substitute on brew day.
These substitutions aren’t perfect as hop chemistry is pretty complex.
We wanted to make this list of substitutions with varietals that are easy to find when possible. For Northern Brewer, we recommend substituting with the following hops:
For the most part, any hop could have a place in just about any beer style. Based on popular beers, historical usage, and our own preferences, we would recommend using Northern Brewer for IPA, New England IPA, Pale Ale, Wheat Beer, Golden Ale. That being said, experiment and see what works best for you.
Hieronymus, Stan. For The Love of Hops. Brewers Publications, 2012
The Hop Aroma Compendium. 2012