|Country:||United States of America (USA)|
Purchase Columbus Hops
This hop can be purchased at Yakima Valley Hops.
Origin and Geneology of the Columbus Hop
Columbus has an unknown origin. It is often referred to as CTZ (Columbus / Tomahawk / Zeus) due to Hopunion and YCH attempting to register the same hop with different names. After an agreement was reached between the two names, both names were registered. They are technically the same hop however. It is genetically distinct from Zeus hops, but has a very similar profile.
The exact lineage of Columbus is unknown, however it is widely assumed that Brewer’s Gold and several undisclosed American varieties played significant parenting roles. It was developed in the 1980s by Charles Zimmerman who had worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture until 1979 and who subsequently held positions with various private hop-processing and trading companies.
US hops begin to be harvested in mid-to-late August for most aroma varieties.
Flavor & Aroma Profile of Columbus Hops
Columbus is a dual-purpose hop that can be used in all hop additions throughout the brewing process.
Specific aroma descriptors of the Columbus hop includes earthiness, black pepper, licorice, spice (curry) and subtle citrus. The floral and citrus notes from the Columbus hop come out in both aroma and flavor, but can be pungent. This strong flavor and aroma make the Columbus hop great for late additions to a boil or dry-hopping.
Read More: The Rise and Eventual Fall of the CTZ Hop
Brewing Values for Columbus Hops
These are the common ranges that we've seen with Columbus hops over the years. Each year's crop can yield hops that have slightly different qualities, so these number ranges are based on history.
|Alpha Acid % (AA)|
Alpha acids are the main source of bitterness in beer. Longer boil times will result in isomerization of more alpha acids leading to increased bitterness. Learn more »
|Beta Acid %Beta acids are a component of hop resins responsible for contributing volatile aromatic and flavor properties. Beta acids contribute no bitterness.||4.5-6%5.3% avg|
|Alpha-Beta RatioThe ratio of alpha to beta acids dictates the degree to which bitterness fades during aging. 1:1 ratios are common in aroma varieties.||2:1 - 4:13:1 avg|
|Hop Storage Index (HSI)The HSI indicates the percent of alpha and beta acids lost after 6 months of storage at room temperature (68°F or 20°C). The freshest hops will always be the best.||45% (Poor) 0.40-0.50|
|Co-Humulone as % of AlphaLow cohumulone hops may impart a smoother bitterness when added to the boil as opposed to higher ones that add a sharper bitterness to the final beer. Learn more »||28-35%31.5% avg|
|Total Oils (mL/100g)These highly volatile, not very soluble oils are easily boiled off, but add flavor and aroma to the finished beer when added very late in the boil or during fermentation. Learn more »||2.5-4.5 mL3.5mL avg|
|Total Oil Breakdown:|
|› MyrceneFlavors: resinous, citrus, fruity (β-myrcene)||45-55%50% avg|
|› HumuleneFlavors: woody, noble, spicy (α-caryophyllene)||9-14%11.5% avg|
|› CaryophylleneFlavors: pepper, woody, herbal (β-caryophyllene)||6-10%8% avg.|
|› FarneseneFlavors: fresh, green, floral (β-farnesene)||0-1%0.5% avg|
|› All OthersIncluding β-pinene, linalool, geranoil & selinene||20-40%|
Hop Pairings with Columbus Hops
Some hops just taste better together. We recently analyzed  hundreds of the most popular beers to find which hops are commonly paired together. We found that Centennial, Chinook, Citra, Simcoe, Cascade & Amarillo hops are commonly used alongside the Columbus hop. This is not a complete list, but should give you a good idea of what hops are commonly used together.
Here is the relative frequency of the top 6 hops that are used with Columbus:
Beer Styles using Columbus Hops
Some popular beer styles that make use of the Columbus hop include IPA, American Pale Ale, Stout, Barleywine & Lager.
Columbus Hop Substitutions
If the Columbus hop is hard to find or if you are simply out of it on brew day, you can try to substitute it with a similar hop. The old way of choosing replacement hops was done by experience and "feel". There is nothing wrong with that way. However, we wanted to build a data-driven tool to find your Columbus substitutions.
Experienced brewers have chosen the following hop varieties as substitutions of Columbus:
Is Columbus available in lupulin powder?
Yes! There is a version of the Columbus hop in lupulin powder form. Columbus lupulin powder is suggested to be used at about half the amount as you'd normally use with pellets. The Cryo/LupuLN2 (Yakima Chief Hops), Lupomax (Haas) and Hopsteiner products are pure concentrated lupulin powder, which add big flavor when used in the whirlpool or dry hop additions.
Columbus Hop Statistics
We love statistics. We've analyzed hundreds of IPAs, dug into the Hop Growers of America's annual reports and researched the history behind some of the most popular beer ingredients. Here are a few of the things we've found interesting about the Columbus hop:
- In 2019, the CTZ mix of hops was the number one hop in terms of production yield in the United States.
- Over 17 million pounds of CTZ hops were harvested in 2019.
- CTZ has been the most produced hop in the US for the last 5 years.
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