The Oxford Companion to Beer definition of
Tettnang hop region
Tettnang Hop Region is a small German hop-growing area on the north shore of Lake Constance, near the Swiss border, centered around the town of Tettnang in Baden-Wurttemberg. Although there is documentary evidence of some hop growing in the area as early as 1150, hop production there became significant only in the mid-19th century. Because Tettnang is also a traditional wine-growing area, the fungal organism Botrytis cinera, which imparts the famous and highly prized “noble rot” flavor to some late-harvested wines, is widely present in the environment. Botrytis affects hops as well as grapes, but in the case of hops there are no positive effects, and botrytis is a more prevalent “hop pest” in Tettnang than in other German areas. Fortunately, it is only a minor problem in most years.
The classic aroma variety of the region is its namesake Tettnanger. It is similar to Saaz. See saaz (hop) and tettnanger (hop). The other main cultivar grown in Tettnang is Hallertauer Mittelfrueh. See hallertauer mittelfrueh (hop). In the hop trade, the latter is usually referred to as Tettnanger Hallertau to differentiate it from Hallertauer Hallertau. Smaller amounts of Perle and Hallertauer Tradition are grown there as well. See hallertauer tradition (hop) and perle (hop). The Tettnang region produces about 5% of the total German hop crop.
The Tettnanger Tettnang variety should not be confused with the hop called “Tettnanger” in the United States. See american tettnanger (hop).The American hop is said to have come from Switzerland, just on the other side of Lake Constance. Whereas the cultivar in Tettnang has a characteristic red-striped bine, the American version lacks that stripe. The chemistry and flavor of the American version are more earthy and Fuggle-like than floral and Saaz-like. Although the “American Tettnanger” may well have come from Switzerland, many suspect that its original home was the hop fields of Kent, England. Those brewers wishing true Tettnanger hop character will source them from Germany.
See also fuggle (hop).