CTZ hops, also known by their full name as Columbus, Tomahawk, and Zeus hops, are a group of closely related hop varieties that share similar characteristics.
Here's an overview of CTZ hops:
Origin: The CTZ hop varieties were developed in the United States and are a result of the crossbreeding of various hop strains. They were named CTZ as a collective term to represent Columbus, Tomahawk, and Zeus, which are often considered to be essentially the same hop variety with minor differences.
Aroma and Flavor: CTZ hops are known for their bold and intense aroma and flavor profile. They often impart strong resinous, piney, and citrusy notes, with some spicy and earthy undertones. The aroma and flavor of CTZ hops are robust and assertive, making them particularly suitable for hop-forward beer styles where a pronounced hop character is desired.
Alpha Acid Content: CTZ hops have a high alpha acid content, typically ranging from about 14% to 18%. This means they are excellent for providing substantial bitterness when added early in the brewing process.
Usage: CTZ hops can be utilized at different stages of brewing:
- Bittering: Due to their high alpha acid content, CTZ hops are often used for bittering additions to provide a firm and clean bitterness to beer.
- Flavor and Aroma: While they are primarily known for their bittering qualities, CTZ hops can also contribute to the beer's flavor and aroma when added later in the boil or during dry hopping. They can add complexity with their resinous, piney, and citrusy characteristics.
Cultivation: CTZ hops are primarily grown in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, especially in states like Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The region's climate and soil conditions are conducive to hop cultivation, producing hops with consistent quality and desired characteristics.
Popularity: CTZ hops have been widely embraced by craft brewers, especially in the production of American-style IPAs, double IPAs, and other hop-forward beer styles. Their intense aroma and flavor profile, along with their high alpha acid content, make them a go-to choice for brewers aiming to create beers with a robust hop character and pronounced bitterness.