Saaz Hops has changed the world of brewing forever, as it is an esteemed and honored variety that helped to define beer styles such as European Lagers and Bohemian Pilsners. Saaz is a natural variety from Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic) that originated from the area around the town of Saaz which is in Bohemia. This hops is also grown in Belgium and the United States and has several descendants from New Zealand including Motueka (B Saaz), and Riwaka (D Saaz).
Czech Saaz is highly sought after for use in Czech Pilsners, Lagers, and European and Belgian styles of the same. The alpha acid content in Saaz is very low at 2.0%-6.0% making this hops variety very much for use as an aromatic agent in the beer. The alpha beta ratio is 1:1.5 which is higher than most varieties and is considered to give beer a more delicate bitterness. The aroma from Saaz comes from its balanced oils, including a high level of farnesene and results in a seasoned herbal character. Saaz also comes equipped high a higher content of polyphenols which subsides the oxidation and aging process in beer, giving it a longer shelf life.
Saaz Hops lacks both a strong yield as well as resistance to the crippling mildews. Maturity and growth habit in Saaz Hops are both mixed depending on where it is grown. And it produces small and light cones that can be difficult to harvest. That has not slowed down the demand for Saaz Hops on the commercial beer markets, and is a staple to many breweries around the world.