A List of Hoppy Beer and Measuring Hoppiness

Avid beer drinkers and newbies alike will learn about hops one way or another.

You may also just be curious about beers and hops. 

Either way, you’re looking for a list of hoppy beer and how this affects beer.

Continue reading, as this article will answer all these and more.

Hoppy Beer

A Busy Bar Serving Beer to It's Customers.

Before hops became common, the sweetness of the malt was balanced by other herbs and spices.

Yes, beer didn’t always have hops. 

The popularity of hops spread when brewers discovered that one ingredient could replace several, plus the plant had antibiotic properties.

Hop History

Hops are thought to have come from Egypt, where they were used as a salad plant.

It was believed to be first used to flavor a fermented drink in medieval Germany. 

From there, it spread to other parts of Europe where it was grown.

Ale, which is beer without hops, became less popular as hops became more popular.

Hops can be added to beer either while it is fermenting or after.

Their main job is to make the beer taste bitter, but they can also add a wide range of other flavors.

Hoppiest Beers

“Hoppy” beers usually taste bitter or smell like flowers and fruit.

Dark beers like porters and stouts get most of their flavor from the malt, so you could never call them “hoppy.” 

But a West Coast IPA, for example, will likely have citrus flavors and a very high level of bitterness.

Hops give beer both of these tastes.

New England IPA

This style of IPA has a lot of grapefruit and tropical fruit flavors that are very strong.

Most of the time, it has been dry-hopped so much that it looks cloudy. 

Since NEIPAs have a little more body, their bitterness is often slightly lighter on the palate, making them very easy to drink.

Related Reading: What Is Craft Beer? – Read About It Here.

Pale Ale

This golden, hop-forward beer is not a lager because it is made with ale yeast instead of lager yeast.

Fuggles and Goldings were traditionally used to generate light malt ale with flowery, earthy, and spicy hop characteristics.

Related Reading: Choosing Between Yeasty Beers – Learn It Here.

West Coast IPA

West Coast IPAs are known for being exceptionally bitter because they are made with many hops in the boil.

Grapefruit and orange flavors come out when you dry-hop. 

West Coast IPAs are often made with hop varieties that give the beer a piney flavor.

Since new hop varieties are continuously being made, the wide range of flavors they can bring to beer keeps growing. 

But as a general rule, hops give the beer a bitter taste and a wide range of aromatic notes that can be woody, spicy, earthy, floral, citrusy, or fruity.

Related Reading: How To Make Orange Beer – Find Out Here.

Measuring Hoppiness

Hoppiness can be a beer’s smell, taste, or the number of hops in its recipe.

It is a mistake to think of bitterness when discussing hoppiness. 

Some labels will say how bitter a beer is in IBUs, is International Bitterness Units.

Bitterness is only one part of the “flavor story” of a beer. 

A high IBU beer will need a dump truck full of hops.

A brewery might also make a beer with many IBUs balanced by many malts, like a stout or porter. In this case, you might not call it a “hoppy beer.”

Most of us want to taste the hops, but their bitterness keeps the beer from being too sweet. Balance and flavor. 

“Hoppy” can mean “the opposite of malty” or “you can taste a lot of hops.”

Because hops can be used in two different ways, they are called “bittering hops,” “aroma hops,” and “dual use” hops when they can do both.

We could get into many scientific details about how Alpha Acids and Hop Oils give beer bitterness and flavor/aroma.

Probably not why you came here, but this is what gives hops their “hoppy” taste. 

The brewery’s best guess is the IBU number, and your tongue and nose tell you what you like.

Related Reading: What Is IBUs In Beer? – Learn It Here.

Hopping a Beer

Hopping A Beer.

Many people who know about taste will tell you that we can’t even taste the level of hops that many breweries have been able to reach.

When is enough? What’s the right amount?


The part of making beer where hops are usually added is called the “Boil.”

Hops add flavor, aroma, and bitterness to beer, depending on when they are added to the brew kettle. 

Depending on how long hops are boiled, they also produce different flavors.

The hops taste gets more bitter the longer they are boiled. 

If hops are kept at high temperatures for too long, they can lose flavor. 

In a 60-minute boil, for example, you might add Cascade hops at the beginning (for bittering), at the 40-minute mark (for flavoring), and the 59-minute mark (1 minute for aroma). 

Bittering hops might only be used if you try balancing a malty beer or want to tone it down.

If you want to get every bit of hop flavor from each addition, you might need to boil for longer. 

However, many brewers will tell you there are better ways to keep hops’ natural taste and aroma than boiling.


After the boil, a Hopback can filter chilled wort through even more hops.

Even though England is not known for making very hoppy beers, it is where the hopback comes from.

The Brits didn’t want to add more hop flavor; instead, they tried eliminating hop matter. 

After the boil kettle, a vessel with a screen in the bottom would be set up in the line.

This screen would keep the hops back (hence the name “hopback”), making a filter bed that keeps the rest of the hops and trub from the boil kettle. 

An enterprising brewer may have discovered the hopback while setting up a filter bed with fresh hops before adding wort.

The hopbacks that people use at home and in breweries aren’t too different from the first ones.

They are simple machines with a sealed container, an inlet and an outlet for the wort, and a screen or mesh that keeps the hops from going through the outlet. 

Before the bottle is sealed, whole hop leaves are put in it.

The hopback is connected on the hot side during the transfer to your fermentation vessel. 

The wort would go through it before getting to your plate chiller.


Professional brewers use the power of the whirlpool to get more hop flavors and aromas out of their beer.

This method is complicated for homebrewers to do.

When your whirlpool, you make the cooling wort spin.

The spinning of this liquid creates a centrifugal force that does two things: sediment, trub, and particles gather in the center of the whirlpool, and stuff gets stirred up. 

This is a fantastic method for increasing hop utilization and dispersal throughout the wort.

Dry Hopping

“Dry hopping” is a way to add even more hop aroma to beer after the primary fermentation is done.

When you let your beer sit on more hops in a secondary fermenter, an oil called “myrcene” comes out.

Related Reading: Fermenting Maple Syrup: What’s The Outcome – Learn More Here.

Final Thoughts

Different people have different preferences for their hops.

Make sure to find the right one for you, and drink responsibly.