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Columbus Hops: Bold and Bitter Beauty in Craft Beer


Columbus hops, renowned for their bold and bitter character, have become a beloved ingredient in the craft beer scene. With their intense aroma, high alpha acid content, and versatile usage, Columbus hops add a distinctive and robust flavor profile to a wide range of beer styles. In this blog post, we will explore the captivating qualities of Columbus hops, delving into their origins, unique attributes, and the impact they have had on the craft beer landscape.

Origins of Columbus Hops

Columbus hops, also known as Tomahawk hops, were developed in the United States by the Hop Research Center in the late 1960s. They are a high-alpha acid variety, resulting from a crossbreeding program involving various hop varieties. Named after the city of Columbus, Ohio, these hops have made a significant impact on the brewing industry.

Unique Characteristics of Columbus Hops

Columbus hops are prized for their robust flavour profile and distinctive attributes. Here are some notable characteristics:

Intense Aroma

Columbus hops exude a strong and pungent aroma, often described as spicy, earthy, and resinous. They contribute a distinctive character to beers, with their aroma being highly recognizable and adding depth to the hop profile.

High Alpha Acid Content

With alpha acid content ranging from 14% to 17%, Columbus hops provide a potent bitterness that makes them ideal for hop-forward beer styles. They deliver a solid and assertive bitterness that can balance the malt sweetness and leave a lasting impression on the palate.

Resinous and Herbal Flavors

Columbus hops offer resinous and herbal flavors, adding complexity to the beer’s taste. They bring notes of pine, cedar, and dankness, which can contribute to the overall hop character and enhance the sensory experience.

Versatile Usage

Columbus hops are versatile and can be used at various stages of the brewing process. They can be utilized for bittering, flavoring, and aroma purposes, making them a valuable tool for brewers looking to achieve a well-rounded hop profile in their beers.

Impact on Craft Beer

Columbus hops have made a significant impact on the craft beer industry, influencing the flavor profiles of various beer styles. Here are a few ways Columbus hops have left their mark:

India Pale Ales (IPAs)

Columbus hops are often featured in IPAs, particularly West Coast-style IPAs. Their high alpha acid content and intense aroma contribute to the bold and assertive hop character that defines these hop-forward beers.

Imperial Stouts

Columbus hops can also be found in Imperial Stouts, where they provide a counterbalance to the rich and roasted malt flavors. Their resinous and herbal qualities add depth and complexity to these robust beers.

American Pale Ales (APAs)

Columbus hops play a role in American Pale Ales, providing a strong hop presence that complements the malt backbone. They infuse the beer with their distinctive flavors, contributing to a well-rounded and flavorful brew.

Experimental and Specialty Beers

Columbus hops are often utilized in experimental and speciality beer creations. Their unique attributes and versatility allow brewers to push boundaries and create innovative flavour profiles that captivate beer enthusiasts.


Columbus hops have earned their place in the craft beer world, offering a bold and bitter beauty that enriches a variety of beer styles. With their intense aroma, high alpha acid content, and versatile usage, Columbus hops have become a favourite among brewers seeking to create hop-forward beers with robust flavours. As you raise a glass of beer featuring Columbus hops, savour the distinctive qualities they bring and appreciate the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into brewing with these remarkable hops.