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Centennial Hops: The Versatile Aromatics of Craft Beer


Centennial hops have earned a well-deserved reputation as versatile and aromatic hop varieties within the craft beer industry. With their enticing floral, citrus, and piney aromas, Centennial hops have become a staple in the brewing world. In this blog post, we will delve into the captivating journey of Centennial hops, exploring their origins, unique characteristics, and the impact they have had on the craft beer landscape.

The Origins of Centennial Hops

Developed in the 1970s by crossing Brewer’s Gold, Fuggle, and East Kent Golding hop varieties, Centennial hops were first introduced in 1990. Originating in the United States, specifically the Pacific Northwest region, Centennial hops quickly gained popularity due to their exceptional aromatic qualities and their ability to impart complex flavours to beers.

Unique Characteristics of Centennial Hops

Floral Aromas

Centennial hops are renowned for their captivating floral aromas, which contribute to the overall sensory experience of a beer. They offer delightful notes of floral bouquets, reminiscent of blossoming flowers, adding an inviting and pleasant element to the beer’s aroma.

Citrusy Notes

In addition to their floral character, Centennial hops also provide pronounced citrusy notes. With hints of grapefruit, lemon, and sometimes even tangerine, these hops deliver a vibrant and zesty citrus aroma that adds a refreshing twist to the beer.

Piney Undertones

Centennial hops possess subtle piney undertones, which contribute to their complexity. These earthy elements provide depth to the hop profile, adding a touch of resinous and evergreen notes that can complement a wide range of beer styles.

Moderate Bitterness

Centennial hops offer a moderate level of bitterness, making them a versatile choice for brewers. With alpha acid content typically ranging from 9% to 11%, Centennial hops contribute a balanced bitterness that harmonizes with the beer’s overall flavour profile.

Impact on Craft Beer

Centennial hops have made a significant impact on the craft beer industry, influencing the development of several popular beer styles and becoming a favoured hop choice for brewers. Let’s explore some of the ways Centennial hops have left their mark:

American IPAs

Centennial hops have become a hallmark of American IPAs, contributing to the bold hop bitterness and distinctive citrusy and floral aromas that define this style. Their versatility allows them to be used for both bittering and late hop additions, infusing the beer with complex hop character.

American Pale Ales

Centennial hops are also widely used in American Pale Ales, enhancing the beer’s hop presence and adding layers of floral and citrusy notes. They help create a balanced interplay between malt sweetness and hop bitterness, resulting in a harmonious and refreshing beer.

Collaborative Brews

Centennial hops have been a go-to choice for collaboration brews between breweries. Their balanced characteristics and wide-ranging applications make them ideal for experimenting with different beer styles and flavour combinations, allowing brewers to create unique and exciting offerings.

Distinctive Hop Profiles

Beers that prominently feature Centennial hops showcase their unique hop profile. From single-hop Centennial IPAs to blended hop combinations, these beers highlight the floral, citrus, and piney qualities that Centennial hops bring, offering beer enthusiasts a distinct and enjoyable tasting experience.


Centennial hops have become synonymous with aromatic versatility in the craft beer world. With their captivating floral, citrus, and piney aromas, Centennial hops have left an indelible mark on beer styles such as American IPAs and American Pale Ales. Their moderate bitterness and well-rounded hop character make them a favoured choice among brewers, allowing for a wide range of flavour profiles. So, the next time you enjoy a beer that features Centennial hops, raise your glass to these versatile aromatics that have contributed to the vibrant and ever-evolving world of craft beer.