Amarillo Hops

Amarillo Hops are a popular and versatile hop variety for American beer. They are known for their amazing aromas and fruity flavor profile.

In a recent study, researchers analyzed the hop essential oil compositions and aroma profiles of Amarillo pellets from Washington and Idaho using HS-SPME-GC-MS. They found that the general aroma profile of Amarillo samples originating from different terroirs depends on the location where they were grown and can be influenced by the harvest year.

Origin and History

Amarillo hops are one of those happiest accidents in the history of the hop industry. They were discovered growing wild in 1990 on a Washington hop farm and have since become one of the most popular varieties.

A medium bittering hop with a distinctive flowery, spicy grapefruit aroma and a low cohumulone content, Amarillo is a versatile addition to any brew. It also has a large myrcene oil content (60-70% of total oils), which adds to its sweet citrus flavor and aroma.

The aroma of two single hop brews originating from different terroirs was evaluated at ‘De Proefbrouwerij’ using single-hop technology on a semi-industrial scale (see Materials and Methods). This involved producing a pilsner malt base beer using a ‘neutral’ industrial top fermenting yeast and an Amarillo (crop 2013) derived from Idaho (batch 2013-ID2) or Washington (batch 2013-WA3) as a late-boil addition.

Characteristics and Flavor Profile

Amarillo Hops are one of the most popular American varieties used for making IPA & Pale Ale. Brewers often rely on Amarillo for its orange citrus character which lends great flavor and aroma to a wide variety of beer styles.

Amarillo is a versatile hop that can be used for both bittering and hopping. Its high myrcene oil content (60-70%) helps impart the sweet orange citrus flavor and aroma to beers brewed with it.

Amarillo is a good choice for brewing beers with a high level of bitterness. It is also an excellent choice for brewers who want to increase their hop profile without adding too much alpha acid to the beer.

Brewing Uses

Amarillo hops are a popular choice for American craft brewers who like to use citrusy and tropical flavors in their beer. It can be used as a primary hop or as an aromatic addition.

Amarillo is a solid bittering hop that provides 9-11% alpha acids. Its high myrcene oil content (60-70%) imparts a sweet citrus flavor and aroma. This includes orange and grapefruit.

In order to assess the influence of terroir on hop aroma, HS-SPME-GC-MS analysis of 68 markers was performed for a group of Amarillo pellets harvested in 2013 from Idaho and Washington. The resulting cluster and MDS analyses clearly demonstrated that the hop aroma profile is dependent on the terroir.


Brewers love experimenting with different flavors, so combining hops can be an exciting way to amplify the characteristics of one hop while keeping the other hop’s flavor profile intact. This technique, known as hop blending, can help you achieve a balanced and complex taste in your beer.

Amarillo Hops pair well with IPAs and pale ales because they impart floral, citrus (lemon, orange and grapefruit) and tropical flavors to your beer. It’s a great choice for a hop substitution in these styles when you need to add some freshness but don’t want to use something too intense.

Amarillo is a patented plant that was discovered by Virgil Gamache Farms in Washington State’s Yakima Valley in 1990. This popular variety is now a coveted staple of commercial breweries around the country due to its ability to accentuate citrus and floral notes.

Availability and Cultivation

Amarillo Hops are a popular hop variety that can be found in many beers. They are typically used in late-boil additions and dry hopping to impart their sweet flavor and aroma.

These hops are also one of the highest Myrcene oil content varieties in the world, which contributes to their citrus and grapefruit aromas. This makes them a great choice for US and new world craft beers that are looking for a balance of bittering and fruity aromas.

Amarillo Hops can be grown in most climates, but they need plenty of water. They should be planted in sandy loam soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0.

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