Depending on the variety and the location, hops flavors can range from citrusy to an earthy flavors, some even being a bit spicy.

So, if you're interested in brewing your own drinks at home, keep reading. This article will explain the differences in hops varieties, as well as how to grow and care for them.

American Hops

American hops tend to have a more citrusy flavor, but it is not uncommon for them to also add floral, strong fruity, or woodsy flavors to your drinks.

Centennial Hops have a flowery and grapefruit-like flavor and taste. It is sometimes called the "super Cascade" as it resembles the Cascade variety, although the Centennial has a more floral aroma.

The Columbus variety has a very strong flavor and aroma, somewhat resembling marijuana and catnip.The Tomahawk and Zeus varieties also belong in this group. These three are also known as the CTZ group.

Chinook is a very piney hop, smelling and tasting just like the tree.

Citra has a very strong citrusy taste similar to oranges, hence the name. It is a bit newer variety, only having been around since 2009.

Mosaic, released in 2012, has been noted to taste like blueberries and pine.

Amarillo is one of the most popular hops varieties and has the aroma and flavor of orange blossoms.

English Hops

Hops that are most common in England tend to be more of a grassy and lemony flavor, some being almost tea-like. Many beers in the area tend to have an equal amount of malt and hops, making it a tad difficult to taste the hops' natural flavors.

Golding is one of the most popular English varieties, having been around for more than 200 years. It has a lemon peppery flavor that is a bit earthy.

The Challenger is used in many of the paler ales because it has a lemony marmalade-like flavor.

Northern Brewer has a woodsy mint flavor that is common in Californian beers.

The Fuggle, other than the weird name, has a minty and earthy flavor.

German and Czech Hops

Most of the hops born and raised in Germany have a spicy flavor with an earthy or peppery flavor.

Tettnanger has an earthy and grassy flavor that is a bit spicy. Saaz has a strong flavor that is similar to the Tettnanger, and the Spalt, a spicy and earthy flavor.

Hallertauer Mittelfruh is the most popular variety in that area. It has a gentle peppery floral flavor.

Planting and Caring for Hops

hops and beer

Hops are fairly easy to grow and care for. They will need something to grow on, as they are vines and can get up to 25 feet long. With a little knowledge and care, you can grow these little beauties in your garden and have a huge bounty for your labors.

Hops start out as a rhizome—a long, solid, bulb-like stem. The best time of the year to buy and plant these rhizomes is in March or April. They require at least 120 days of frost-free weather to grow large enough to sprout their flowers, which are what gets used to brew beer.

Area selection should be based on how much and how long the direct sunlight hits. Hops prefer lots of sunlight, preferably southern exposure. While they can survive with as little as 6 hours of light, they may be weak and might not grow nor produce nearly as much.

They prefer slightly neutral soil; a pH of around 6.0-8.0 is optimal. Loamy, well-drained soil works best, as hops cannot handle conditions that are too wet or too dry. Compost should be used, and you should have plenty of potassium, nitrogen, and phosphates since they require large amounts of water and nutrients. Plenty of mulch helps as well, especially in the first year they are growing.

Plant the rhizome horizontally in a hole about 1 foot deep. Mix the soil with manure and other fertilizers, preferably loaded with the required nutrients mentioned above. Hops are vines and will grow long. When hops are healthy and taken care of, they can grow almost an entire foot in a day, so the vines will need to be watched for tangles. They will need a strong support system to keep them off the ground and from other vines.

Hops are susceptible to several diseases, including fungus and mildew. By keeping them off the ground and not using a sprinkler system for watering, this may be avoided. Hops are also aphid attractors, specifically the 'hop' aphid. These are a pale green color and usually easy to spot before a severe infestation begins. A natural solution to them are ladybugs who love to eat the crop destroying bug. These aphids can destroy an entire field of hops in little time, so it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible.