Hop Profile: Challenger - Brooklyn Brew Shop

Hop Profile

Updated on July 21, 2020

Hop Profile: Challenger

The Challenger hop was originally bred at Wye College in 1961, as a combination of Northern Brewer and a German male downy-mildew resistant variety. Today, Challenger is primarily used in British ales and lagers in its native land, the UK.

Because of its lineage, Challenger has both a high level of alpha acids and a strong aroma. The result is a floral yet spicy hop that's moderate in intensity. This combination makes Challenger a hop that can be played with in a variety of different beer styles - mostly English - ranging from ESBs, porters, stouts, and brown ales. Add Challenger to the beginning of the boil to add some bitterness to the brew, or at the end to bring out the aroma. You'll get hints of marmalade, lemon, and spicy flavors from a Challenger-hopped beer.

    1. Origin

      Challenger was bred at Wye College in England, in 1961. It was first released for commercial use in 1968. Challenger is also now grown in Belgium and the U.S.

    2. Characteristics

      Challenger is a dual purpose hop, used for both bittering and aroma. Its aroma is strong and spicy. Challenger imparts a fruity flavor and a clean bitterness when added early to the boil.

    3. Vital Statistics

      Typical Use: bittering and aroma Alpha Acid: 6.5-8.5% Country: UK Styles: English ales and lagers, Extra Special Bitter (ESB), English-Style Porters, English-Style Stouts, Bitter, and Barley Wine Flavors: Spice, Earth, Orange, Tangerine, Floral Similar Hops: Perle, Admiral