Must They be Noble?

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August 23, 2013 by Prost Brewing

Hops up close

German hops are renowned for being “noble.” If you are unfamiliar with what distinguishes a hop as “noble,” keep reading for a short lesson on the subject. “Noble” hops are European cultivars that are noted for being very aromatic and rather low in bitterness. “Noble” hops are not bred as other “modern” hop varieties. Instead, they are considered to be “wild” hops that have simply been propagated by man.

Similar to grapes, each of these “wild” hops varies in flavor according to the soil and microclimate in which it is grown. Thus, in order to retain a specific flavor profile for a particular variety of hop, “noble” hops are required to be grown in the original areas from which the hop variety once grew wild. If they are grown elsewhere, the hop will lose its “noble” title.

Fields of Noble Hops in Hallertau, Germany

Fields of Noble Hops in Hallertau, Germany

This “noble” title is important because it is, as mentioned, indicative of many desirable characteristics. A “noble” hop contains high amounts of the desirable hop oil “humulene,” giving it that powerful, pleasing aroma. It is also noted for having lower amounts of the alpha- and beta-acids that can add an undesirable, harsh element to a beer’s flavor.

In the end, the “noble” German hop facilitates the making of a quality brew. With so many different varieties of “modern” hops now available for brewers around the world, the “noble” German hop stands apart with its pleasing attributes that have been treasured by German brewers for centuries. By taking special care to keep these varieties pure, even growing them in their native soils, German hop cultivars have ensured the preservation of these unique hops so that modern brewers will be able to use them for centuries to come.

At Prost Brewing, you will find the use of “noble” hop varieties in our flagship beer, the Prost Pils.


By using “noble” varieties, we are able to create a Pilsner that is true to the land from which it originated. Visitors to Prost get the chance to take in a highly aromatic beer with a bitterness that is less harsh and more pleasing to the palate. To have your own experience of the “noble” hop head to Prost this weekend, and also get a chance to celebrate Prost’s One Year Anniversary.


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