Hop Heads - Old World vs. New World Hops

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by AugustusRex, Mar 2, 2015.

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  1. AugustusRex

    AugustusRex Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2013 Canada (ON)

    There is so much love on this site for American hops, especially varieties such as Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, and Kiwi hops. I understand the appeal that they have, but as I have been drinking more and more beer, I am favouring old world hops more.

    Why do hop heads generally gravitate to new world hops? A fresh saison or pilsner has just as much hop character as a fresh ipa. Please new world hop lovers, explain this fixation to me.
  2. Shroud0fdoom

    Shroud0fdoom Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 Maryland

    This happens a lot in the culinary world too. New World hops are of course...new. The next big thing will come out and people will gravitate to that trend. Plus these new world hops are pretty complex.
    AugustusRex likes this.
  3. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Grand Pooh-Bah (3,581) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    ...Because they taste amazing?
  4. MistahBeah

    MistahBeah Initiate (0) May 12, 2013 Massachusetts

    Just new flavors and aromas to enjoy. Doesn't mean they're any better or worse than Old World. Just new and exciting.
  5. herrburgess

    herrburgess Pooh-Bah (2,991) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina

    Is the implication that the old-world ones somehow don't?
    ONovoMexicano and jesskidden like this.
  6. MisSigsFan

    MisSigsFan Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 California

    Because they explore new flavors that previously weren't available?
  7. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Way back when the west coast was the easier source of hops than Europe. So US brewers in the early years found it easier to develop their beers using US hops. The flavors became popular. Then over time more US brewers learned some of their skills in Germany and the UK and began to use European hops as well. But it is still "harder" for US brewers to ensure a steady supply of relatively fresh noble hops than US hops. Noble hops or British hops grown in the US don't have the same flavor profile that they do when grown in Europe.

    So bottom line: Convenience for brewers and familiarity for beer drinkers.
    AugustusRex likes this.
  8. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Grand Pooh-Bah (3,581) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

  9. herrburgess

    herrburgess Pooh-Bah (2,991) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina

    Then why don't hop-heads gravitate as much to the old-world hop varieties? That was the OP's question.
  10. qchic

    qchic Initiate (0) Jul 6, 2004 Maryland

    Not all those hops are from the U.S., but we could very well be the biggest consumers as IPAs are often the flagship style for many breweries.

    Personally, I like trying the new hop varieties, but will always return to solid examples of old favorites. Plus, I get tired of the same variety, especially when it seems like everyone is using it. *cough* Mosaic
    TonyLema1 likes this.
  11. PGD120

    PGD120 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2015 New Jersey

    for me it depends on the type of beer. I love some old world hops in old world beers. I just dont see a beer like orval working with simcoe or centennial, or most other new worlds. with that said i love super hoppy beers and all my favorite beers are new world hopped.
  12. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Grand Pooh-Bah (3,581) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    I'm responding to the question of "Why do hop heads generally gravitate to new world hops?", which the OP did say, to which my first reply is my response. American hops have all those crazy, aggressive citrus, tropical fruit, and pine flavors, which are understandably loved and craved. It may be very well be a shame that the Old World hops are overshadowed because of this, but the appeal that the New World hops have is undeniable.
  13. sjverla

    sjverla Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2008 Massachusetts

    I guess I'm kind of a neo-classicist? My favorite hops are American, but not the latest/greatest. Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe are probably my top three. I've loved Fuggles for a long time, and recently just came to understand how truly great East Kent Goldings is. Citra's nice, and I like beers brewed with Mosaic, Galaxy, etc., but, and I mean this sincerely: Why are we trying to make beer that tastes more and more like candy?
    breadwinner and zid like this.
  14. HopBackGorilla

    HopBackGorilla Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2015 New York

    Once I found a hop profile that didn't taste like someone put a pine tree in my glass with some fresh cut grass sprinkled in, I ran with it.

    I'm all for citrus forward IPA's. The juicier and fruitier I can get them the better.

    I'm Definately a New Age hop head. Bring on the Citra, Mosaic, Kiwi!!
    FaradayUncaged likes this.
  15. rozzom

    rozzom Pooh-Bah (2,534) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    New world hops are popular for the same reason that "big" styles like DIPA, Impy Stouts (esp the BA ones or ones brewed with additives), Barleywines etc are popular. Because they're bold and in your face, and have easily discernible flavour profiles.

    I'm not knocking new world or old world hops, or big or small beers. But that's just the way it is in this community.
    herrburgess likes this.
  16. Rekrule

    Rekrule Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Because most don't actually like hops they are just big fans of fruit.
  17. LehighAce06

    LehighAce06 Pooh-Bah (2,104) Jul 31, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Complexity and intensity of flavors. Personally I tend to enjoy citrus and tropical fruit flavors more than piney flavors as well, which New and Old world hops are each known for, respectively. With that said, I enjoy the hell out of both, I just lean that direction when given the choice.

    Another possible factor is that with the rarity of newer hop varieties, the breweries that have a chance to use them are generally better ones, whereas anyone out there can get as much of an old hop as they like, so there's a bit of a skew toward higher quality in the pool of available choices of new hop beers.
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    New World hops have a differing hop flavor/aroma profile from Old World hops. Lots of craft beer drinkers have a preference for the flavors/aromas that New World hops have. The ‘first’ BIG New World hop was Cascade which was introduced in the early 70’s.

    For those looking to learn more about hops I would highly recommend the book For the Love of Hops by Stan Hieronymus.

    A clever way to represent the flavor/aroma profile is via a chart that is sometimes referred to as a Hop Spider Chart; below is an example:
    meefmoff and Hayden34 like this.
  19. geocool

    geocool Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    Lol. Galaxy hops are from Australia, and the very word "kiwi" is a nickname for all things from New Zealand. But it is very American to take things from other cultures and claim them as our own.
    MatthewPlus, AugustusRex and machalel like this.
  20. marquis

    marquis Pooh-Bah (2,239) Nov 20, 2005 England

    It's of course personal opinion and taste (plus perhaps what I'm used to) but I like my hops to taste of hops and not grapefruit, lychees or whatever. If I want a drink tasting of grapefruit then I can buy grapefruit juice.Old World hops (my fav is EKG) have a unique taste and aroma.
  21. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,489) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I like dank hops and I cannot lie. You other BAs can't deny. When a beer gets served with a juicy fruity nose and some citrus that just flows your mind's blown!
  22. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa

    I love the juicy, tropical and citric nature of a lot of the New World hops. Those are characteristics you don't really find in a lot of Old World hops.
  23. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa

    "I like my hops to taste of hops" isn't very descriptive, when different varieties of hops have a huge range of flavors. ALL of them are hop flavors however.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  24. Andrew041180

    Andrew041180 Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2013 Massachusetts

    While I'm not familiar with EKG, I agree with your sentiment. Whenever I see a comment like "straight up fruit juice", I think, does the poster consider this a good thing or a bad thing? Why not just buy fruit juice? The more I try the Galaxy hops of the world, the less I like them.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Marquis appears to be of the opinion that European hops are the only 'real' hops since they have what he terms "taste of hops". According to him hops like Cascade, Citra, Simcoe, Galaxy, etc. are not 'real' hops since their flavor profile is not consistent with European hops like East Kent Goldings. I suppose the 'logical' extension of this is that New World Hops are 'non-real' hops?:confused:

    #25 JackHorzempa, Mar 2, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
    BottleCaps80 likes this.
  26. johnjohnbeer

    johnjohnbeer Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2012 Ohio

    More mosaic hops! (Unlike what that other guy said!)
  27. geocool

    geocool Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2006 Massachusetts

    You're putting words in his mouth, and being a little bit hard on him don't you think? IMHO "I like my hops to taste of hops" seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to say. His favorite, East Kent Goldings, has been loved and used by brewers for over two hundred years. Maybe in the 23rd century hop varieties like Motueka and Nelson Sauvin will be what homebrewers are thinking of when they say things like "I like my hops to taste of hops." Too early to tell.
    rozzom likes this.
  28. 31Sam13

    31Sam13 Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2014 New Hampshire

    Both are good...GREAT...brewing wouldn't be the same if there weren't all the available resources...
  29. marquis

    marquis Pooh-Bah (2,239) Nov 20, 2005 England

    I did say that perhaps it's what I'm used to. EKG was around about 200 years before even I began drinking and it has maintained its position as a leading hop because of its sheer drinking quality.The test of time you might say. Compare with the upstart Fuggles with only 140 years of use.
    The problem with these hops is that you need a lot more of them than of the present high AA hops.But when you do the results are as good as it gets.

    There are a lot of beers appearing these says with a dreary sameness; in particular they taste of grapefruit
  30. Relik

    Relik Zealot (567) Apr 20, 2011 Canada (NS)

    'New World Hops" are New, insightful i know. As for the New vs Old Hops alot comes into play with the alpha acids and profiles you want to impart on a beer. Its a lot easier and uses a lot less New world Hops to hit the IBU targets in the dominant style of American IPA.

    Iam someone who loves EKG and Fuggles and Saaz hops just as much as I love Simcoe, Galaxy, Mosaic.
    AugustusRex likes this.
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