With an interesting lineage stemming from Cascade, Brewer’s Gold, and Early Green hops, Crystal hops are most commonly used for their aromatic properties. Released from the USDA’s breeding program in 1993, this versatile hop compliments a wide variety of beer styles.
The low alpha acid range of about 3.5% to 5.5% lets a wonderfully woodsy, earthy aroma shine with notes of spicy cinnamon and black pepper. Crystal hops are so flexible they make a great addition to styles like IPAs and ESBs as well as they are a great choice for many lager styles. Though Crystal hops are generally available in both whole and pellet form, you could also use Hallertau, Mt. Hood or Liberty Hops in their place. Taste this hop in commercial brews like Rogue Brewing Co.’s Brutal Bitters or Nut Brown Ale from Wild River Brewing Company.