Fruity and citrusy hops have dominated the brewing scene in the USA and pretty much the rest of the world. Gone are the days of drab drafts and tasteless beer; the new generation of hops are more exciting and more flavorful than the hops of yesteryears.
You can’t make a list of citrusy and fruity hops without mentioning the king: Citra. No hop comes close to the tangy fruit flavors of this new American hop. Citra brews contain a dazzling array of distinct fruity flavors like lime, orange, mango, lychee, gooseberry, and grapefruit. All those flavors blend into the most citrusy flavor ever produced. The USA has no shortage of fruity and citrusy hops, including the likes of Centennial, Amarillo, and Mosaic. Go with Centennial and Amarillo if you want more citrus or Mosaic if you want a less tangy brew.
Germany’s traditional hops usually have toned down, and more serious characteristics, but newer hops like Mandarina Bavaria and Hallertau Blanc are proof that German hops can be fruity and flavorful. Mandarina Bavaria hops are probably the fruitiest hop in Germany, with intense lemon tones mixed with strawberries, pineapple, tangerine, and lime. Hallertau Blanc is one of two hops in this list that produce wine-like flavors. It creates intense grape flavors with a bit of passionfruit and lemongrass.
Australia’s Galaxy is often compared to Citra because of its pure fruit and citrus profile. No spice, flowers, or pine — just pure fruity and citrusy goodness. Galaxy produces flavors rich with passionfruit and peach, with little traces of pineapple. Its strong citrusy flavors have made it the most successful beer hop in Australia and one of the most successful in the world. A few other hops from down under that have fruity and citrusy flavors are Topaz and Enigma, though both these hops lack the citrusy taste of Galaxy.
The second hop with wine-like flavor in this list is New Zealand’s Nelson Sauvin. Like the lesser-known Hallertau Blanc, Nelson Sauvin evokes flavors of wine with its sweet grape flavors mixed with mangoes and lychee. It is very aromatic — sometimes too fragrant for everyday beer drinkers. Wine lovers will note that its intense floral and grape aromas are similar to the real Sauvignon Blanc’s. Nelson Sauvin is sweeter and more wine-like than Hallertau Blanc, but it sometimes has a mild peppery flavor. Motueka and Wakatu are other Kiwi hops with similar fruity and citrusy characteristics but without the wine-like taste. Motueka can be compared to Galaxy, while Wakatu is a bit like Centennial.
English hops usually have a spicy, floral, or earthy tone similar to the flavors of their teas. However, Herald breaks this mold with its strong fruit and citrus flavors. It is quite flavorful and very aromatic, with tones of grapefruit and bright orange. It is more suited for darker ales and more bitter brews.
Citrusy and fruity brews are taking the brewing world by storm. Flavor is the name of the game, and these hops are winning it.