Named after Oregon’s Willamette River and the hop-growing valley, Willamette hops are a variety of hops that were historically one of the most prevalent hops grown in the United States. It is a daughter of the Fuggle hop and has a similar pepper and spice flavor.
Willamette hops are primarily used as an aroma hop due to their low Alpha Acid content, usually around 4-6%. It has a complex spice flavor, floral earthiness, and notes of herbs and fruit. Willamette hops were released in 1976 by Al Haunold and Chuck Zimmerman as part of an effort to find an American replacement for the British Fuggle variety.
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|Hop Growers Code:||WIL 6761-117|
Where To Buy Willamette Hops
Willamette Flavor And Aroma
Willamette is an aroma hop that is often described to have the following aroma characteristics:
Willamette 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% – 6%|
|Beta Acid %|
Beta acids are what give hops their more aroma and flavor compounds.
|3% – 4%|
This ratio of alpha acids to beta acids determines how quickly bitterness fades during aging. Lower ratios are common for aromatic varieties.
|1:1 – 2:1|
|Co-Humulone as a % of Alpha|
Higher numbers are said to impart a harsher bitterness.
|30% – 35%|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)|
With more total oils, typically comes a more complex hop profile but these are highly volatile compounds.
|1mL – 1.5mL|
|30% – 55%|
|20% – 30%|
|7% – 8%|
|5% – 6%|
|Other Oils: Includes beta-ionine, beta-pinene, limonene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||0% – 46%|
|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 62% alpha acid after 6 months storage at 20ºC (68ºF).|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI) Rating||Fair|
Willamette 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 Willamette, 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 Willamette 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