Nebraska Hops Projects


Hops Cultivar and Production Evaluation for Nebraska

This project is to evaluate eight selected hop varieties, having desirable qualities for craft beer brewers and hobbyists, for plant health, productivity, quality and annual consistency at multiple locations across Nebraska. Funding for the Cultivar trials is from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Specialty Crop Block Grant Project.


The Nebraska Hops cultivar evaluation had a remarkable season! The working plan for this first year of the three year project was considered to be an establishment year. One in which we prepared the planting beds, installed the trellis and planted the rooted hop liners. Culture was implemented to establish healthy plants, and additionally, observations were made to identify potential pests or cultural challenges we might find.

As the season progressed, at most locations, the individual hop cultivars exceeded our expectations in performance. Culture did play a major contributor in the quality we observed, however, we did note that certain cultivars were very consistent in their growth, flowering and cone development. A sampling was made of all varieties grown to investigate the quality of these first year hop cones. The results are shown in the following table.

Hop Testing Lab Results
CultivarProject Alpha AcidProject Beta AcidAlpha Target
Brewer’s Gold** 6.24% 6.73% 7–8.5%
Centennial 7.22% 2.30% 8–11.5%
Chinook 13.6% 2.96% 10–14 %
Cluster 8.79% 5.75% 5.5–8.5%
Crystal 6.12% 5.07% 2–4.5%
Columbus 9.44% 3.84% 11–16%
Fuggle** 0.67% 0.49% 4–5.5%
Perle 4.96% 1.90% 6–9.5%
Willamette 4.60% 2.73% 3.5–6%
Zeus 18.9% 5.64% 13–17%

**These varieties not in the statewide cultivar evaluation however a part of the UNL campus collection.

Genetic Diversity of Nebraska Wild Hops

A study to investigate the genetic traits of hop plants found in locations (wild or minimally tended) across the State that have exhibited survivability over several decades.

Hop Breeding Program

Development of regionally adapted hops through traditional plant breeding methods.