Origin and Description

Challenger Hops has popularity in beers in England, and was bred at Wye College using Northern Brewer and a German variety in 1961. It is a dual use hops with a moderate alpha acid rating of 6.5%-8.5%. Challenger was released in 1968 was intended to provide high alpha acids, good aroma as well as disease resistance.

Challenger can be added at the beginning of the boil in brewing for its bitterness or as late additions, and dry hopping for its aroma. The flavor of Challenger in beer is smooth, with floral character and some spice. Some of the sweeter citrus flavors will come through in the beer as well. Challenger has great diversity in the beer styles it can be used in, making it one that should be experimented with in home brew and commercial beers.

Challenger has moderate levels of its essential oils. Perhaps this speaks to the balance that it carries in beer. Its a low yielding hops variety for harvesting, yet Challenger has good sized cones.

Challenger Hops Usage

Challenger hops has aromatic and bittering qualities.
Challenger hops is commonly used for both its aromatic qualities as well as its bittering qualities.

Challenger Hops Characteristics

Below is a list of characteristics for challenger hops that impact farming, chemistry, transport & trade, beer production, as well as the final character of the finished product.

Challenger Hops Acid Composition

Alpha Acid Composition 6.5%-8.5%Challenger Hops Alpha Acid Composition - 6.5 To 8.5 Percent
Beta Acid Composition 4%-4.5%Challenger Hops Beta Acid Composition - 4 To 4.5 Percent
Co-Humulone Composition 20%-25%Challenger Hops Co-Humulone Acid Composition - 20 To 25 Percent

Challenger Hops Cone Physical Characteristics

Challenger Lupulin ColorPale Yellow to YellowPale Yellow to Yellow Lupulin Color for Challenger Hops
Challenger Cone SizeMedium to LargeChallenger Hop - Medium to LargeCone Size
Challenger Cone DensityModerate to CompactChallenger Hops - Moderate to Compact Cone Density

Challenger Hops Growth, Harvest, and Storage Details

MaturityLate SeasonChallenger Hops - Late Season Maturity
YieldYield for Challenger Hops is Low at 1400 - 1800 kg/hectare
Challenger Hops - Low Crop Yields
Growth RateModerate
Challenger Hops - Moderate Growth Rate
Susceptibility to Disease and PestsSusceptible To:
Verticillium Wilt,
Resistent To:
Downy Mildew,Powdery Mildew,
Challenger Hops Resistance to Disease & Pests is Moderate
StorabilityChallenger Hops maintains 70%-85% alpha acid comtents after 6 months storage at 20 degrees CChallenger Hops Storability - Moderate
Ease of HarvestGoodChallenger Hops - Good Pickability

Challenger Hops Oil Composition

Total Oil Composition1-1.7 mls/100 gramsChallenger Hops - Total Oil Compensation 1-1.7 mls
Myrcene Oil Composition30%-42%Challenger Hops - Myrcene Oil Compensation 30-42 Percent
Humulene Oil Composition25%-32%Challenger Hops - Humulene Oil Compensation 25-32 Percent
Caryophyllene Oil Composition8%-10%Challenger Hops - Caryophyllene Oil Compensation 8-10 Percent.jpg
Farnesene Oil Composition1%-3%Challenger Hops -Farnesene Oil Compensation 1-3 Percent

Challenger Hops Substitutes

Perle (US)Perle Hops was brought to the United States from a German Selection from the same variety. Originating from the H...
Northern Brewer (GR)Northern Brewer is an England native who is seeing its days live out mainly in Germany and the U.S. There is a separate

Common Beer Styles for Challenger Hops

    Beer Style
    Pale Ale
    English Brown Ale
    Red Ale
    English Ale
    Golden Ale
    Belgian Blonde Ale
    Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
    Barley Wine
    Brown Ale

    Challenger Hops Use in Commercial Beers

    WebsiteBrewing Company & Beer or Product
    Hopback Brewery
    Red Ember
    The Globe Pub
    Geltsdale Brewery
    Black Dub Mild Ale
    Dark Star Brewery
    Country Life Brewery
    Lacey’s Best Ale
    Marston’s Beer Company
    Best Bitter
    The Maldon Brewing Company
    Mr Mussel
    Storm Brewing Company
    Riverside Brewery and Restaurant
    Wyndemere West Uncommon Pale Ale
    Faultline Brewing Company
    Pale Ale
    Purple Moose Brewery
    Startled Moose