- Dual Purpose
- 🇬🇧 Great Britain
Challenger hops, a versatile and popular variety among homebrewers, were first developed in the United Kingdom at the Hop Research Institute at Wye College in 1961. This dual-purpose hop, born out of a cross between Northern Brewer and a native male German hop, was released for commercial use in 1972. Since then, Challenger hops have gained popularity for their adaptability and well-rounded characteristics, making them an excellent choice for various beer styles.
The flavor profile of Challenger hops boasts a unique combination of moderate bitterness, with floral and slightly fruity notes, accompanied by a hint of spice. This hop variety can be used for both bittering and aroma, making it a favorite choice for a wide range of beers, including English-style ales, porters, stouts, and even some lagers. Typically, Challenger hops have an alpha acid content ranging from 6.5% to 8.5%, ensuring a balanced bittering potential, while the beta acid content ranges from 4% to 5%, contributing to its delightful aroma.
For homebrewers seeking a versatile hop that can be utilized at various stages of the brewing process, Challenger hops are an excellent choice. They can be added during the boil for bittering purposes, or towards the end for aroma and flavor enhancement. Experimenting with the amount and timing of the Challenger hop additions can help you create a wide array of beer styles, each with a unique and harmonious taste. With its distinct and adaptable profile, Challenger hops are sure to become a staple in your homebrewing repertoire.