Ctz (Hop) is an acronym for Columbus, Tomahawk, and Zeus, three trade names owned by various private corporations for the same variety of hop, a superalpha cultivar that is capable of delivering about 14% to 18% alpha acids, 4.5% to 5.5% beta acids, and 30% to 35% cohumulone. Some brewers refer to it as “CTZ,” whereas others call it by whichever name appends to the company from which they purchase it. In addition to being a powerful bittering hop, CTZ also has some solid, slightly pungent aromas derived from about 1.5 to 2 ml of hop oil per 100 g. The oil palate of this hop is composed of about 25% to 45% myrcene, 12% to 25% humulene, 8% to 12% caryphyllene, and a fractional amount (1%) of farnesene. CTZ ranks among the most widely grown hops in the United States and is planted in all major American growing regions. In the field, it matures late in the season and shows some susceptibility to powdery mildew, aphids, and mites, but its average yield is still a respectable 2,250 to 2,800 kg/ha (roughly 2,000 to 2,500 lb/acre). In storage, however, it has little stability and must be processed into pellets or extracts almost immediately and placed into oxygen-free packaging; freezing alone is not enough to preserve it. The development history of the cultivar is not entirely certain, but the plant apparently started its life in the 1980s when Charles Zimmerman—who had worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture until 1979 and who subsequently held positions with various private hop-processing and trading companies—experimented with diverse genetic hop materials. It is widely assumed that the English high-alpha variety Brewer’s Gold as well as several undisclosed American varieties played significant parenting roles in CTZ. Because of its powerful bittering potential, CTZ has become a much sought-after hop by craft brewers experimenting with distinctly American beer tastes, particularly American pale ale, “double IPA,” imperial stout, or barley wine. In these brews, this hop is often paired with other typically American hops, including Cascade and Chinook. An American West Coast favorite, CTZ is useful for making “extreme” beers with very high international bittering units because it can deliver a big punch of bitterness without loading up the kettle and/or whirlpool with too much plant material.

See also brewer’s gold (hop), cascade (hop), and chinook (hop).