Brewing Outside the Box with Unique Hop Varieties

Dare to brew differently with varieties that will help separate your beers from the herd. Creative expression is the core of craft beer, and Hopsteiner is here to help you discover more ways to brew outside the box.

Hopsteiner (Sponsored) Jul 20, 2023 - 6 min read

Brewing Outside the Box with Unique Hop Varieties Primary Image


When it comes to picking favorites for lagers, this U.S.-cultivated Noble-style hop from Hopsteiner steals the stage. Contessa is truly a lager brewer’s best friend. Similar to European landrace varieties, Contessa carries a captivating aroma with a relatively higher beta-to-alpha acid ratio. This chemical makeup can be particularly interesting for lager brewers when considering sensorial bitterness. In combination with Contessa’s aroma, this effect lends a smooth, delicate bitterness while delivering an elegant fragrance, making it a perfect fit for lagers and a unique addition to many other styles.

The name Contessa was a customary title bestowed upon a woman of nobility in certain European countries. Given the hop’s profound elegance, it was only fitting that it be given a title of nobility.

Aroma: light pear, floral, soft green tea, and lemongrass.
Best in: pilsner, Kölsch, helles, lager


The name truly says it all with this variety. Lemondrop offers a unique lemon-citrus hoppy character perfect for that sessionable sumertime lager, while ales tend to bring out her sweeter side. The bright citrus and subtle herbaceous notes are balanced with a low-intensity bitterness. Lemondrop is a refined variety for all quality lagers, yet it’s playful enough to pack a hoppy punch for anything beyond.

Weather and shipping logistics can make it difficult to access many of the classic Noble hop varieties, but both Lemondrop and Contessa are grown right here in the Pacific Northwest, meaning easy access at no extra cost.

Aroma: lemon, citrus, tangerine, green tea, melon
Best in: pilsner, wheat, saison, lager, pale ale


Known for its massive cone size and high oil content, Sultana delivers big pineapple notes with bright citrus and pine. If you’ve ever cracked open a fresh can of pineapple chunks, you have a pretty good idea of what Sultana is all about.

When deciding on what to name this variety, we looked to the impressive Alaskan Range for inspiration. We wanted something as big and bold as a mountain for the cones and flavor this hop produces. We found it in one of the largest peaks in the continental United States, known to the indigenous Athabascans as Sultana—meaning “the woman.”

Aroma: pineapple, pine, bright citrus
Best in: IPA, pale ale, hazy IPA, imperial IPA


Lotus is another product from the Hopsteiner Breeding Program that offers exceptional aromatic characteristics of orange, vanilla, and hints of candied grape. Lotus has a rich lineage that includes a Neomexicanus female, adding drought tolerance and an additional layer of complexity and uniqueness to this variety.

In Eastern cultures, the lotus flower is known for its vibrancy, representing a symbol of replenishment or rebirth. Fittingly, hops are a perennial plant that experiences a reawakening when the sun coaxes the hibernating bines from their winter slumber. This revitalization sets in motion rapid growth for the rebirth of a new crop that culminates during the annual hop harvest at the end of each summer. Lotus™ is a name that pays homage to the culmination of this tradition, recognizing the rebirth of life and the celebration of harvest.

Aroma: orange, vanilla, candied grape, berry
Best in: IPA, hazy IPA, pale ale, witbier, stout, porter


Trident is a specialized hop blend carefully balanced with a much wider range of aroma and flavor characteristics than any single hop variety could generate on its own. Trident was developed for those seeking a hop-forward punch to the nose—its fruity, citrus, tropical, passion-fruit profile is perfectly balanced to fit any beer style. Although Trident™ is great on its own, it can also be used with other unique varieties to build an even more complex and potent flavor profile.

The name Trident comes from classical mythology as the divine weapon of Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea. Poseidon’s Trident held a number of magical powers but is best known for its influence over the sea. We’re not claiming that our Trident™ blend has special powers, but it’s sure to unleash a tidal wave of flavor.

Aroma: fruity, citrus, tropical, passion fruit
Best in: IPA, hazy IPA, pale ale, lager, wheat, pilsner

Let’s Talk

Since 1845, Hopsteiner has proudly helped brewers of all sizes secure a broad range of public and proprietary hop varieties from around the globe. Hopsteiner is a vertically integrated hop supplier that grows, breeds, processes, and trades the highest quality hops and hop products available with a minimum order of just 5lbs and contract minimum of just 220lbs of any single variety.

Breeding our own distinct hop varieties has provided us with a flavor foundation in which we can mix and match more efficiently for target aroma and flavor specifications. All of our proprietary varieties are bred with a focus on superior agronomic properties in combination with disease-resistance genes, making Hopsteiner varieties the most sustainable hop varieties in the world.

We work in one of the most fascinating industries in the world, and we are delighted to share in this experience together. We are committed to providing the best products with the best service and we invite you to grow with us.