Shop Hops by Aroma [New Website Feature]

Shop Hops by Aroma [New Website Feature]

What do Hops Smell Like?

What do you smell when you smell your favorite hops? Lemon, grapefruit, vanilla, or just plain ol’ grass? We understand how tricky it can be to distinguish hops and their many different aromas. It gets even more complicated if you’re smelling hops with brewing buddies or coworkers and everyone is trying to communicate what they get out of the hops.

When smelling Galaxy™ you could be getting hints of citrus and sweet fruit while someone else is getting something completely different. Some people are more sensitive to certain aroma compounds, while other people are completely nose-blind to some aromas. The Hop Aroma Standards Kit was designed to help build a uniform Sensory Language that was convenient for everyone learn and easy to communicate. Using the Hop Aroma Standards Kit as a learning tool will help brewers better understand some of the aroma compounds that present in hops and be better equipped to describe specific aromas. Now when someone describes a hop as citrusy, you can know that you are speaking the same language.

About the Hop Aroma Standards Kit

The Hop Aroma Standards Kit was developed by John I. Haas with the help of their Sensory Chemist Victor Algazzali. The Hop Aroma Kit includes 12 different vials each with a specific aroma compound (or combination of a couple compounds) that are naturally occurring in hops. Each vial was made up of a unique food grade compound, intended for smelling.

During the research and development process, four steps were taken to create the flavor categories. Victor and the team began with Hop Compound Identification for each of the flavors. It was important to the team to include natural flavors that would accurately portray the hop aromas associated with the categories. The second step included Prototype Development which challenged the team to find the best prototype that matched the target flavor categories. A variety of tinctures were created to assess the efficiency for each flavor profile. Third step was the Sensory Feedback. Standards were presented in vials for evaluating smell and aroma. The hop standards were used in beer training to ensure the correct flavor profiles. In the final steps more testing was done to lock in the best aromas to help you identify hop flavors. 

A Better Way to Shop for Hops

With the new Shop By Aroma feature on our new website it is now even easier to shop for hops and discover your next favorite varieties. The colors in each hop cone correspond with the primary aromas each variety offers.

When you click on Citrus you will see hops like Amarillo®, Azacca®, Barbe Rouge, and some of our favorites like Citra®, Cashmere, etc. Once you’ve selected your hop, a flavor key will be available to you to help identify other aromas that make up the hop. We hope that this new way of shopping will help you choose hops that are the best for your brew, whether you are an experienced brewer looking for something specific or are wanting to get experimental and try something new.

We know how overwhelming choosing hops can be especially if you are new to brewing. Every hop is unique and filled with flavor, and when the wrong one is used in a specific kind of beer things can get undrinkable quickly! That is the great thing about brewing, we encourage experimenting and creativity, let this be a guide for your next creation!

What are the Twelve Aromas?

Click on each of the categories below to explore hops now!
Sweet Fruit
Green Fruit
Berry & Currant
Cream Caramel
Woody Aromatic


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  • Karyna Foia
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