US Hops - NL Warehouse
Columbus CTZ makes an exceptional beer. It features a deep and punchy hoppiness and some beautiful tones of citrus with earthy notes. It has added characteristics of resinous, black pepper and spicy aromas.
American Ale, Stout, Imperial Brown Ale, Lager
Earthy, Resinous, Black Pepper, Spicy
Originally selected by Charles Zimmerman for Hop union, Inc., Columbus is a descendant of Nugget. It is a high alpha variety and is primarily used for bittering purposes. Columbus is often referred to as CTZ, a trio of similar hops including Tomahawk® and Zeus.
The history of Columbus is just as interesting as the earthy, resinous, black pepper, spicy aroma characteristics it has and just as varied and strange. It all begins with Charles Zimmermann, a legendary hop breeder who worked for the USDA’s hop breeding program.
In 1979 Zimmermann retired with no one set to take over his position. Zimmermann grew many hop varieties at his home, so Columbus was likely one of these hops although its origins aren’t exactly clear.
So Zimmermann worked at Hop Union after his retirement. Hop Union later tried to patent the Columbus hop, but Zimmermann, now working at Yakima Chief patented the exact same hop under the name of Tomahawk. This began some legal battles as to who actually owned the hop, but they eventually agreed on a set of terms. The hop would be jointly marketed with each company using its own name. Zeus is similarly genetically identical to both Columbus and Tomahawk – which means that the hop is sometimes called CTZ.
Of course, with a chequered past like this, Columbus’ pedigree is not given in the patent, possibly because it isn’t really known, but the license for the hop does state that it was wind-pollinated. There is no way of knowing the male parent, but many believe that Brewer’s Gold (an English variety) played a role somewhere.
What is not controversial is that Columbus makes an exceptional beer. It features a deep and punchy hoppiness and some beautiful tones of citrus and earthy notes.
When used as a bittering hop, you can find yourself enjoy some lovely earthy and spicy tones. Yet when used as an aroma hop in the final stages of the brew, citrus floats around the palette along with a subtle herbal flavour.
Columbus is increasingly being used later in the boil. With simple changes to the timings of the addition of this hop, the brewer can create an amazingly different beer. This is an inspiring hop to use, the flavours are relatively easy to control during the brew, but it does take some skill. We’d like to forget about Columbus’ slightly strange past and focus on its incredible future in the craft brewing world!
Are CTZ and Columbus hops the same?
There is some confusion around the names of hops varieties, and Columbus hops are no exception. Sometimes called CTZ hops, Columbus hops are a variety of hop that is closely related to the Tomahawk and Zeus varieties. They are known for their strong bittering potential and are often used in IPAs and other hoppy beers.
What do Columbus hops taste like?
Columbus hops are a variety of hop that has a strong, earthy flavour. They are often used in American-style IPAs, where they can add a lot of bitterness and aroma. Some people describe the taste of Columbus hops as being spicy or herbal, with a slightly pungent aroma. They are an excellent choice for beers that need a lot of flavour and aroma, and they can also be used to add some balance to more malty beers.
What are Columbus hops used for?
Columbus hops are used for their high alpha acid content, which makes them ideal for brewing IPAs and other hoppy beers. They have a strong, earthy flavour that balances well with the bitterness of hops. Columbus is also known for its high aroma intensity, so it’s often used in late-hopping additions to give the beer a more intense hop flavour and aroma.
2018, 2019, 2020