El Dorado Hops was first developed in 2008 at CLS Farms in the Moxee Valley, Washington. This outstanding dual-purpose hop is highly prized for its aromatic, flavoring, and bittering qualities. Lovely aromas of tropical fruits and fresh hops are beautifully complemented by rich flavors of mango, pineapple, and tropical fruits.
El Dorado hops are high in alpha acids and deliver intense levels of hop bitterness. They are also ideal for dry-hopping and for later additions, which results in rich enhanced flavors of stone fruit, pear, pineapple, and juicy watermelon. Before we continue into our full El Dorado hops guide, let’s look at its pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of El Dorado Hops
- Outstanding new dual-purpose hop
- Lovely tastes of mango, pineapple, and tropical fruits
- Rich aromas of tropical fruits
- Bold and intense hop bitterness
- Ideal for dry-hopping, resulting in enhanced tropical flavors and sweet aromas of stone fruit, pear, pineapple, and juicy melon
- Can only be cultivated in cool climates
History of El Dorado Hops
The El Dorado Hop was created in 2008 at the CLS Farms in the Moxee Valley, Washington. It is believed that this hop variety was released to the public in 2010, just two years after being developed.
Considering that it usually takes around ten to fourteen years before a new hop variety is released after development, makes the El Dorado hop one of the most unique and interesting hops on the market today. According to legend, the great grandfather of the El Dorado hop was a wild hop variety that originated in Colorado.
The owner and fourth generation hop grower Eric Demarais paid somebody to cross-pollinate with open-pollinated plants, and the El Dorado hop was born.
Acid and Oil Composition
- Co-Humulone: 28%-33%
- Alpha Acid: 13%-17%
- Beta Acid: 7%-8%
- Farnesene Oil: 0%-1%
- Caryophyllene Oil: 6%-8%
- Humulene Oil: 10%-15%
- Myrcene Oil: 55%-60%
- Total Oil Comp: 2.5-3.3ml per 100 grams
General Characteristics of El Dorado Hops
What Climate is Best?
El Dorado and other powerful aromatic hops tend to perform better in cooler climates. The Yakima Valley in Washington offers the perfect climate with annual temperatures averaging 56.6 degrees F (13.5 degrees C).
When Do They Mature?
This hop variety matures late season and shouldn’t be picked too early. If harvested too early they can yield flat aromas.
What is the Growth Rate?
The El Dorado hop is a fast-growing hop variety
The cones of the El Dorado hop are small to medium and are densely compacted
How Much Do They Yield?
El Dorado hops offer a high yield and can be considered to be above average at around 2300-2500 lbs/acre
Are They Difficult to Harvest?
El Dorado hops grow in such a way that they are easy to harvest, and this can be done without any difficulty.
El Dorado hops offer modest storage capabilities. After 6 months of storage at 20 degrees Celsius, you can expect an alpha acid loss of between 25% -40%.
Are They Resistant to Disease?
El Dorado hops are resistant to most diseases, including verticillium wilt and powdery mildew.
What Do They Smell Like?
El Dorado hops offer lovely aromas of juicy tropical fruits. Dry-hopping results in enhanced tropical aromas of stone fruit, pear, pineapple, and juicy melon.
What Are They Used For?
El Dorado hops are dual-purpose, they are used for their bold aromatic qualities, and due to their high levels of alpha acid, they are highly prized for their bittering qualities. Additionally, El Dorado hops are utilized for their flavoring qualities and are also ideal for dry-hopping or later additions in the brewing process.
How to grow El Dorado Hops
El Dorado hops are easy to cultivate and can be grown from seed.
Planting El Dorado Hops
Fill your seedling tray with organic soil and add water, plant your El Dorado hops seeds and place your seedling tray in a safe place where there is little wind. Give the seeds water every second day, and when they begin to grow, you can move them out into the sun.
Caring for El Dorado Hops
Once your hops are ready to be transplanted, they can be planted in a pot or directly into the ground. If you are using a pot, make sure there is enough space for the root system to grow.
Ensure the soil has excellent drainage and that they get six to eight hours of sunshine each day. It is important to note that most hop varieties don’t like stagnant water, and this is the main cause of disease or infection. A drip irrigation system is the most effective watering method, try to avoid sprinklers where possible.
Hops come from a vine and vines need something to grow onto and creep along. You can position your plant near a trellis or erect a basic tripod from old sticks like you would with a tomato tree. This will allow it to grow freely and encourage growth.
El Dorado Hop Alternatives
Below are three quality alternatives to El Dorado hops:
The Citra hop was created by the Yakima Hop Breeding Company in Washington. This hop variety is bred from a combination of Brewers Gold, East Kent Golding, Bavarian, US Tettnanger, and Hallertau Mittlefruh hops.
It offers lovely aromas of floral, grapefruit, passion fruit, lychee, gooseberry, citrus, lime, and juicy melon. Additionally, this hop variety is high in alpha acids, and when added to the boil, it delivers a smooth and powerful bitterness.
The Rakau hop was released by the NZ hop Breeding Program in New Zealand. High levels of myrcene oil (56% of total oils) deliver tastes and aromas of stone fruit, plum, pear, apricot, and mango. High levels of alpha acid (10%-11%) result in high levels of hop bitterness. This hop variety is extremely versatile, clean, and efficient and also ideal for dry-hopping.
The Nelson Sauvin hop is commonly referred to as the Nelson hop and the Sauvin hop. It originated in New Zealand and was bred from the New Zealand hop variety called “Smoothcone.” The Nelson Sauvin hop offers tastes and aromas of juicy white wine grapes, gooseberries, and passionfruit. This hop variety offers extreme levels of fruitiness and excels in cooler climates.
Hull Melon is a new hop variety that originated in Germany. This hop was only introduced in 2021 and offers exquisite aromas of sweet strawberry, apricot, and juicy honeydew melon. Due to low levels of alpha acids, this hop variety is not usually utilized for its bittering qualities.
The Ekuanot hop was created by the Hop Breeding Company in the United States. First introduced as Equinox, the name was later changed to Ekuanot in 2016. This hop variety offers rich flavors and aromas of oranges, lime, lemon, papaya, and tropical fruit.
The Ekuanot hop contains high levels of alpha acids which result in high levels of hop bitterness. They are becoming increasingly popular in beers like IPA’s and Imperial IPA’s that require a substantial contribution from the hops.
What Popular Beer Styles Use El Dorado Hops?
The El Dorado hop is considered to be a young hop, but today, it is used in numerous types of beer styles:
Made popular by American Craft Breweries, American Wheat Beer is produced using premium malted wheat which makes up around 30% of the grit. Fermented with neutral Ale or Lager yeast, it offers low to medium levels of hop bitterness. An exceptionally smooth and satisfying finish follows flavors and aromas of malt and sourdough.
American Wild Ale
American Wild Ale is produced with wild yeast and is often blended with mixed cultures and bacteria. Upfront, you encounter an interesting smokey flavor with soft undertones of earthy wood and leather. The earthy flavors are followed by tastes of tropical fruit, stone fruit, and lemon zest.
California Common is an easy-drinking beer that is often referred to as “Steam Beer.” Made famous by the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, this medium-body beer offers sharp tastes of mint, earthy wood, toasted malts, and sweet caramel malt.
American Pale is a fruity medium-bodied beer made with premium all-American hops. Lovely tastes and aromas of pine, fresh fruit, floral, and citrus are followed by soft notes of caramel and toasted malt. The finish is refreshing and delicious.
An American Blonde Ale is a light-bodied beer that is well-balanced, with gentle notes of fruit, spice, and freshly baked biscuits. A lovely balance between sweet malt and fresh hop bitterness results in a refreshing and thirst-quenching style of beer.
Lager-style beer is notorious for delivering a crisp and clean taste. It is a mild beer that is smoother and sweeter with lower alcohol content. Lager is also clearer and lighter in appearance and delivers a crisp, satisfying, and refreshing finish.
What Commercial Beer Brands Are Made Using Only El Dorado Hops?
Below are three quality and respected beers that use only El Dorado hops when producing their beloved brew:
El Dorado Single Hop IPA
El Dorado Single Hop IPA is produced by the Fernie Brewing Company in Canada. It is a full-flavored and juicy IPA with lovely tastes and aromas of mango and pineapple. Made with only El Dorado hops, there are high levels of hop bitterness.
The finish is refreshing and bitter, with the fruity flavors being overpowered by hop bitterness. El Dorado Single Hop IPA offers an ABV of 6.7%.
Happy Sour is an interesting creation from the Almanac Brewing Company in Alameda, California. This beer combines the bold hop flavors and aromas of pine, floral, herbal, and citrus with lovely sour beer flavors.
These delightful hop additions greatly enhance flavors of tropical fruit, pineapple, and mango, with soft earthy notes of wet grass and freshly chopped wood.
IPX Organic El Dorado is proudly produced by the Hops Works Urban Brewery in Portland. It is a tasty and light-bodied Ale that showcases pear and tropical fruit flavors and aromas. This fine beer is easy-drinking with a refreshing and satisfying thirst to match. IPX Organic El Dorado offers an ABV of 6%.
What Commercial Beer Brands Combine El Dorado Hops With Other Hop Varieties?
Below are five outstanding beers that use El Dorado and other varieties of hops when producing their beer:
Weldwerks Juicy Bits IPA
Weldwerks Juicy Bits IPA is produced by the Weldwerks Brewing Company in Colorado. It is made using El Dorado, Mosaic and Citra hops and features bold tropical fruits and citrus tastes and aromas. This outstanding IPA uses higher protein malts, lower attenuation and offers an ABV of 6.7%.
Hazy Little Thing
Hazy Little Thing is a fantastic craft beer produced by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. As the name suggests, it is hazy in appearance and easily qualifies as a New England Pale Ale. Aromas of earthy pine and juicy tropical fruits and followed by fresh tastes of orange, peach, and herbs. Hazy Little Thing is a remarkable beer that offers an ABV of 6.7%.
No Resolution IPA
No Resolution is a fruity and well-balanced Indian Pale Ale produced by the Bronx Brewing Company. It is full-flavored and medium-bodied with soft notes of juicy fruit, citrus zest, and pine. Mild hop bitterness and tastes of lightly toasted malt are followed by a smooth, lingering, and bitter finish. No Resolution IPA has high levels of carbonation and offers an ABV of 7.6%.
Phantom Hand is proudly produced by the Drekker Brewing Company. It is medium-bodied and full-flavored. Lovely tastes and aromas of banana, pineapple, orange, lemon, and candy apple are followed by a satisfying finish with traces of mild hop bitterness. This great-tasting beer offers an impressive ABV of 9.5%.
Naughty Nurse IPA
Naughty Nurse IPA is a beautiful IPA produced by the City Steam Brewing Company. Tastes and aromas of caramel malt are followed by moderate levels of hop bitterness. Indicative of an authentic Indian pale Ale, it is brewed with spice, and high alpha acid hops to ensure a bittersweet and spicy finish. Naughty Nurse IPA is a cheeky and great-tasting beer with an ABV of 5.0%.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: Where are El Dorado Hops Grown?
Answer: El Dorado hops are all American and are cultivated in all the major farming regions in the United States. These regions include Michigan, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. There are 23 unique and passionate hop growers in these areas committed to producing the finest hops on the market. Additionally, growers can retail their crops unconstrained by centralized control.
Question: Can You Use El DoradoHops For Dry-hopping?
Answer: El Dorado hops are versatile and have dual purposes. They are ideal for dry-hopping and highly prized for their flavor, aroma, and bittering qualities. Dry-hopping with El Dorado hops results in greatly enhanced fruity aromas and a beer that is hazy in appearance.
Question: What Do El Dorado Hops Taste Like?
Answer: El Dorado hops are high in alpha acid and renowned for intense and bold hop bitterness. They also offer lovely tastes of mango, pineapple, and tropical fruits. When dry-hopped or used in later additions, these incredible hops offer enhanced tropical flavors of stone fruit, pear, pineapple, and juicy watermelon.
Question: Which Hops Pair Well With El Dorado Hops?
Answer: El Dorado hops are paired with numerous hop varieties to create all types of interesting beers. They are commonly used alongside hops such as Cascade, Galaxy, Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic, Motueka, and Amarillo. Due to the high levels of alpha acid and pungent flavors and aromas, El Dorado hops are valued for their bittering, flavor, and aromatic qualities.
The El Dorado hop is dual purpose, extremely versatile, and highly sort after for its aromatic, flavoring, bittering and dry-hopping qualities. This young hop variety offers lovely tastes of mango, pineapple, and tropical fruits, with rich aromas of juicy tropical fruit.
When used for dry-hopping or late additions, tropical flavors and sweet aromas of stone fruit, pear, pineapple, and juicy melon are greatly enhanced.
El Dorado is a fantastic hop variety, and I love the bold aromas and high levels of hop bitterness. If you enjoy a beer with fruity flavors and aromas, then this is a great hop for you.
It is the perfect hop for home-brewers to get some brewing experience, as the bold and intense qualities reduce the amount of product needed. I like to use El Dorado hops when brewing juicy IPA’s and good old-fashioned California Common.