Growing Hops for Home Brewing
Answered by: Richters Staff
Question from: Garry Gosnell
Posted: Before April 1998

I am anxious to grow my own hops for beer making at home. We are in Montreal and would like to know of a particular variety as hardy and resistant, as well as tasty. Am hoping to find a variety that is truly perennial in this region. Can anyone help me on this?

Richters offers five hops cultivars suited for beer making. Hops are hardy in zones 3-8 so they should do well in your area.

For serious beer makers we recommend growing one or more of the named cultivars. You can also grow hops from seeds but the problems are that you will get about 50% males (sorry guys, but the males are no good for beer making) and you will get plants of variable alpha acid content. Alpha acid determines the bitterness level of beer and is a major criterion for selecting cultivars. For example, ‘Nugget’ contains 12-13% alpha acid and is best suited for stouts and ales, whereas ‘Mount Hood’ has a low alpha acid content, making it best for Bavarian-style lagers. The Japanese hops (Humulus japonica) is from another species of hops and is not used for beer making. Check the catalogue for more details about the different hops varieties.

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