The Ultimate Hop Profile Guide

Its a good thing to know the hop profiles that you put in your beer as well as the hop substitutes for that particular beer that you are making.  So many times there are these weird out of the blue hop shortages that happen. The worst was just a few years back which homebrew shops were limiting the amount of hops people could buy because they didn’t know when they were going to get them.

The problem with hop shortages is that they really happen over night.  The one a few years ago happened because in Czech they had a hail storm which wiped out the hop fields and then in Yakima where the hops are stored in the US, there warehouse burned down.  It was the perfect storm which made some hops go up to $7.99 and up for 2 ounces.  It was bad.

Either way, it’s nice to be prepared.  So at Jay’s Brewing we created this Hop Profile Guide with some substitutes to help you better prepare yourself in case hops become difficult to get.


Sometimes described as “super cascade”.

Alpha Acid: 7-9%

Usage: Flavor and Aroma in American style ales

Possible Substitutes: Cascade, Centennial, Summit, Ahtanum

Brewers Gold

Spicy and fruity

Alpha Acid: 8-10%

Usage: Bittering

Possible Substitutes: Bullion, Chinook, Galena, Nugget


One of the oldest high-alpha hops in the world. It’s and English hop.  It is earthy/musty

Alpha Acid: 6.5-9%

Usage: Bittering

Possible Substitutes: Columbus, Northern Brewer


Very versatile hop that presents itself as citrusy and flowery.

Alpha Acid: 5-7%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Possible Substitutes:  Amarillo, Centennial, Summit


Similar to Cascade but with a higher alpha acid %.

Alpha Acid: 7.5-11%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Possible Substitutes: Amarillo, Cascade, Columbus, Summit


Strong, spicy. A clean bittering hop.

Alpha Acid: 6.5-8.5%

Usage: Bittering Possible Substitutes: Perle, Admiral


Spicy aroma, somewhat herbal.

Alpha Acid: 10-14%

Usage: Bittering.

Possible Substitutes: Brewers Gold, Columbus, Galena, Nugget, Northern Brewer


This was the precursor to cascade hops, so very similar.

Alpha Acid: 6-8.5%

Usage: Bittering Possible Substitutes: Galena, Cascade


Herbal aroma, solid bittering hop

Alpha Acid: 11-15%

Usage: Bittering.

Possible Substitutes: Magnum, Chinook, Northern Brewer, Warrior, Millenium, Bullion


Slightly spicy aroma

Alpha Acid: 3-4.5%

Usage: Flavor and Aroma

Possible Substitutes: Mt. Hood, Liberty, Hallertauer, Tettnanger, Strisselspalt

East Kent Goldings

Traditional English ale hop.

Alpha Acid: 4-6%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Possible Substitutes:  Fuggle, Progress, First Gold


Grassy, light aroma. Used in English style Ales.

Alpha Acid: 4-6%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Possible Substitutes:  Willamette, Styrian Golding, Tettnanger, Newport


Pretty bitter hop, but extremely clean.

Alpha Acid: 10-14%

Usage: Bittering.

Possible Substitutes:  Brewers Gold, Nugget, Cluster, Chinook, Eroica, Newport


Citrus aroma with candy like qualities.

Alpha Acid: 5.5%

Usage: Aroma

Possible Substitutes:  Willamette, Fuggle, Tettnanger, Styrian Goldings


Nice all-around hop with pleasant characteristics. German noble hop.

Alpha Acid: 3-6%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Grown in the U.S. and Germany. Possible Substitutes:  Liberty, Tettnanger, Mt.Hood, Vangaurd, Tradition


Presents a nice, soft round bitterness for such a high-alpha hop. 

Alpha Acid: 11-14%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering.

Possible Substitutes: Magnum


Very light aroma

Alpha Acid: 3-6%

Usage: Flavor and Aroma.

Possible Substitutes: Hallertau, Tettnanger, Mt. Hood, Crystal


Alpha Acid: 13-15%

Usage: Bittering

U.S. Possible Substitutes:  Horizon, Newport

Mt. Hood

Extremely close to Hallertau, but a bit spicier

Alpha Acid: 4-7%

Usage: Flavor and Aroma.

Possible Substitutes: Hallertauer, Liberty, Crystal, Strisselspalt

Northern Brewer

Clean hop, has woody characteristics to it

Alpha Acid: 7-10%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering. Good all-around hop. Used quite often in Steam Beers.

Possible Substitutes: Nugget, Chinook, Columbus, Bullion, Perle, Styrian Aurora


Very strong bittering hop.

Alpha Acid: 11-14%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering 

Possible Substitutes: Cluster, Galena, Brewers Gold, Warrior, Eroica, Target, Millenium 


Almost minty smell to it.

Alpha Acid: 6-9%

Usage: Flavor, Aroma, and Bittering  Possible Substitutes: Challenger, Northern Brewer


English hop developed to provide a more wilt-resistant alternative to Fuggles.

Alpha Acid: 5-8%

Usage: Bittering.

Possible Substitutes: Fuggles, E.K. Goldings


Very light and clean, seen in a lot of Pilsners

Alpha Acid: 3-4.5%

Usage: Flavor and Aroma.

Possible Substitutes: Sladek, Lublin, Sterling, Ultra, Vangaurd


Has a passion fruit aroma to it.

Alpha Acid: 12%-14%

Usage: Bittering and Aroma

Possible Substitutes: Northern Brewer, Galena


Earthy, spicy, but very similar to Saaz

Alpha Acid: 6%-9%

Usage: Aroma

Possible Substitutes: Saaz, Lublin
Styrian Goldings

Very similar to Fuggles

Alpha Acid: 5.5%

Usage: Bittering and Aroma

Possible Substitutes: Fuggle, Willamette


Spicier then Hallertau.  It is a traditional german noble hop.

Alpha Acid: 3-5%

Usage: Flavor and Aroma.

Possible Substitutes: Hallertau, Liberty, Fuggle

Slightly flowery, mild in aroma.

Alpha Acid: 5.5% – 6%

Usage: Aroma

Possible Substitutes: Saaz, Hallertauer


Extremely clean bittering hop.

Alpha Acid: 15%-17%

Usage: Bittering

Possible Substitutes: Nugget, Columbus


Hybrid of fuggles, earthy and woody

Alpha Acid: 4%-6%

Usage: Aroma and flavoring

Possible Substitutes: Styrian Golding, Target, Fuggle, Tettnanger, Glacier

We did get a bit of help and these were the sites that we went to:



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  1. How To Design Your Own Beer Recipe Series – Step 2 – Hops Selection | Jay's Brewing Blog - February 8, 2012

    […] the past we put together a hop profile post which is very good. BYO has a pretty good hop profile as well. With that said though, brew365 has […]

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