- 🇩🇪 Germany
Spalter hops, also known as Spalt, are one of the world's oldest hop varieties, with their origins dating back as far as the 8th century. They were the first variety to be granted the German hop seal in the 16th century, a historically significant certification system predating the current German Hop Provenance Law. These hops are primarily grown in the Spalt region of Germany, making them one of the original landrace hops. Despite their low yield, which has limited their commercial growth in the US and presents challenges even in their native Germany, Spalter hops are in high demand by brewers and often outstrip supply.
The Spalter hop is known for its unique flavor profile, which includes notes of earth and spice, along with noble aroma qualities. It has been likened to Tettnanger and Saaz hops. The woody aromas of the Spalter hop in its raw state are reminiscent of tonka beans and barrique, with slightly sweet notes of ripe bananas. In the cold infusion, floral characteristics and black tea aromas come to the fore, giving this cultivar its typical flavor profile. Spalter hops are typically used in late boil additions, including dry hopping, and are often used in brewing German Ales, Lagers, Pilsners, Bocks, and Kolsch. They are known for their noble characteristics, earthy, spicy herbal, and floral aromas. If Spalter hops are hard to find, they can be substituted with Saaz, Tettnanger, Santiam, Liberty, or Hallertau.