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Vanguard Hops

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Vanguard hops have an interesting history, with their breeding began in 1982 by the USDA and was eventually released in 1997. They were created as a cross between a Hallertauer daughter and a German aroma male, resulting in a triploid hop similar to Hallertauer Mittelfrüh.

Vanguard hop aroma has a sweet, slightly spicy profile with tropical fruit, lemon, grass, and tea notes. This unique aroma is perfect for adding a European-style touch to your brews. The hop’s acid profile is also quite distinct, featuring a balance of low alpha and high beta acid, along with high levels of humulene and very low levels of cohumulone. This combination gives Vanguard a strong woody, herbal character and a pronounced spiciness, especially when used as an early addition.

Vanguard hops work great in various beer styles, particularly those with traditional German influences. German Lagers, Belgian Ales, Pilsners, Bocks, and Hefeweizens all benefit from adding Vanguard hops.

Country of Origin:United States
Hop Growers Code:VAN

Where To Buy Vanguard Hops

Vanguard Hops
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Vanguard Flavor And Aroma

Vanguard is an aroma hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:

pine trees

woody, cedar





Vanguard 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.
4.40% – 6%
Beta Acid %
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
6% – 7%
Alpha-Beta Ratio
This ratio of alpha acids to beta acids determines how quickly bitterness fades during aging. Lower ratios are common for aromatic varieties.
Co-Humulone as a % of Alpha
Higher numbers are said to impart a harsher bitterness.
14% – 16%
Total Oils (mL/100g)
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
0.9mL – 1.2mL
green, resinous
20% – 25%
woody, piney
45% – 50%
0% – 1%
Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene12% – 33%
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 75%-80% alpha acid after 6 months storage at 20ºC (68ºF).
Hop Storage Index (HSI) RatingGood

Vanguard 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 Vanguard, we recommend substituting with the following hops:

Beer Styles

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 Vanguard 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