The Galaxy Hop was created in 1994 by the Hops Products of Australia (HPA). It is a multi-purpose and versatile hop with high levels of both alpha acids and essential oils. This hop variety is prized for its flavor and aromatic properties, delivering bold tastes and aromas of passion fruit, juicy peach, and citrus zest. The Galaxy hop is also utilized for its bittering qualities and is ideal for dry hopping and later additions. When used as a dry-hop, it greatly enhances the flavors and aromas while releasing a moderate level of smooth hop bitterness. Before we get more into our Galaxy Hops guide, let’s look at the pros and cons of this hop.
Pros and Cons of Galaxy Hops
- Excellent hybrid created from the German Perle hop and Australian J78 hop.
- High levels of essential oils deliver bold and intense flavors and aromas.
- Lovely tastes and aromas of passion fruit, juicy peach, and citrus zest
- High levels of alpha acid offer exceptional bittering qualities
- Ideal for dry hopping and later additions
- This hop variety can only be cultivated in cooler regions
- Cannot be grown at home
- Expensive and rare
History of Galaxy Hops
The Galaxy hop is a hybrid hop that was created by the Hop Products of Australia (HPA) in 1994. The male was derived from the prized German hop variety known as “Perle”, which offers high levels of alpha acids and excellent aromatic qualities. The female plant called J78 is a descendent of the “Pride of Ringwood” hop variety which is native to Australia. The Galaxy hop is widely considered Australia’s greatest hop success story, with this variety now being in high demand worldwide.
Acid and Oil Composition
- Co-Humulone: 32%-42%
- Alpha Acid: 11%-16%
- Beta Acid: 5%-6.9%
- Farnesene Oil: 2%-4%
- Caryophyllene Oil: 7%-9%
- Humulene Oil: 1%-2%
- Myrcene Oil: 33%-67%
- Total Oil Composition: 3-5ml per 100 grams
General Characteristics of Galaxy Hops
What Is Climate Best?
Galaxy hops and most big aroma hops tend to perform better in cooler conditions. The average temperatures in Tasmania and Victoria are around 13 degrees C (55 degrees F). This is almost identical to the climate in the Yakima Valley. This hop variety matures mid-late season, and like most big aroma hops harvesting too early can result in flat aromas. There is no concrete data available, but Galaxy Hops typically take 120-150 days to be ready for harvest.
What Do They Smell Like?
Galaxy hops deliver bold and intense aromas of fresh passion fruit, juicy peach, and citrus zest.
What Are They Used For?
The Galaxy Hop is a multi-purpose hop with high levels of essential oils and high levels of alpha acid. High levels of Myrcene oil deliver bold and rich tastes and aromas. High levels of alpha acid result in a hop variety with excellent bittering qualities. Additionally, the Galaxy hop is ideal for dry hopping and later additions and greatly enhances the tastes and aromas when added to the boil.
How to Grow Galaxy Hops
Unfortunately, it is impossible to grow Galaxy Hops at home. This hop variety is extremely rare and unique, and therefore there are no rhizomes commercially available for home growers. Additionally, this hop variety is currently under patent to the Hops Products of Australia (HPA).
Continue reading our full guide on how to group hops to find out more.
Galaxy Hop Alternatives
Galaxy hops are extremely unique; therefore, it is almost impossible to find an exact substitution for this incredible hop. Below are three quality alternatives that offer similar characteristics to Galaxy hops:
- Citra: The Citra hop is another wonderful creation from the Hop Breeding Company in the Yakima Valley, Washington. Released in 2008, the Citra hop is a combination of Bavarian, US Tettnanger, Hallertau Mittlefruh, Brewers Gold, and East Kent Golding hops. The Citra hop is a high alpha acid hop and offers strong tastes and aromas of citrus and floral with moderate levels of hop bitterness. Additional aromas include gooseberry, lychee, peach, lime, melon, and passion fruit.
- Amarillo: The Amarillo hop was first discovered in a hop yard at the Virgil Gamache Farms Inc. in Washington State. Originally called VGXP01, it was successfully propagated and later introduced to the world as the Amarillo hop. This hop offers the highest myrcene oil content of any hop and delivers bold aromas of juicy oranges and rich flavors of sweet citrus. The Amarillo hop contains high levels of alpha acid and offers excellent bittering qualities. Additionally, the Amarillo hop is well-suited to dry-hopping and later additions.
- Simcoe: The Simcoe hop was released in 2000 by the Yakima Chief Ranch, Washington State. This relatively young hop variety has grown in popularity and is widely used by homebrewers and American craft brewers. The Simcoe hop offers fresh aromas and tastes of berries, passion fruit, citrus zest, and apricot. Additional soft undertones of earthy pine offer a lovely balance to this outstanding hop.
What Popular Beer Styles Use Galaxy Hops?
The Galaxy hop is grown in popularity over the last decade, and today, it is used to make an array of beer styles:
- Fruit Beer: Fruit Beer is a non-alcoholic beverage that is produced using fruit; typically, fruits like cherries, raspberries, plums, and strawberries are used in the fermentation process. They offer low levels of bitterness, slight acidity with a moderate sweetness. Upfront, you encounter lovely tastes and aromas of fresh hops, juicy fruit, and creamy malt. The finish is crisp and dry with a hint of hop bitterness.
- Barley Wine: Barley Wine is a style of beer that is made from grain and offers high alcohol levels. The word “wine” only refers to the high alcohol content, which can range between 6%-12%. This beer style is fermented like traditional beer using water, hops, malts, all-natural grains, and yeast. Authentic Barley Wine offers delicious aromas and tastes of rich coffee, nuts, and toasted cookies.
- Wheat Beer: Wheat beer has grown in popularity in recent times thanks to the dedicated and passionate American Craft Breweries. Wheat Beer is also known as an “adjunct” beer, with malted wheat comprising 30% of the grit. Upfront, you get tastes and aromas of creamy Malt and freshly baked bread. The finish is exceptionally smooth with low to medium levels of hop bitterness. Wheat Beer is easy-drinking, thirst-quenching, and offers an ABV of between 2.5%-5%.
- IPA: IPA’s or Indian Pale Ales are known to be big on hop characteristics, with bold hop aromas, tastes, and high levels of hop bitterness. Upfront you fresh hop aromas and tastes with soft notes of creamy malt. The finish is bitter and refreshing. IPA-style beer offers an ABV of between 6%-7%.
- Saison: Saison is a Pale Ale that was traditionally brewed with low alcohol content. Originating in Wallonia, Belgium, it was historically brewed by local French-speaking farmers as opposed to large commercial breweries. Saison is usually bottle conditioned with high levels of fruit, spice, and carbonation. It is full-flavored and refreshing, with modern brews offering an ABV of between 6%-8%.
What Commercial Beer Brands Are Made Using Only Galaxy Hops?
Below are five quality and respected beers that use only Galaxy hops when producing their beloved brew:
- Galaxy Crush: Galaxy Crush is a delightful beer produced by Reuben’s Brews in Seattle. Upfront, you get bold aromas of tropical fruit, stone fruit, and fresh hops. These aromas are followed by rich tastes of citrus zest, peach, nectarine, pineapple, and passion fruit. The Galaxy Hops dominate this beer, but there is a nice balance of sweetness from the creamy malts. The finish is smooth and lingering with moderate levels of hop bitterness. Galaxy Crush IPA offers an ABV of 6%.
- Galaxy IPA: Galaxy IPA is another fantastic creation from the Blackfoot River Brewing Company in Montana. Upfront, you get beautiful tastes and aromas of tangerine, passion fruit, and mandarin orange. The finish is refreshing and smooth with a mild semi-sweet finish. Galaxy IPA offers an ABV of 7%.
- Smash Galaxy IPA: Smash Galaxy is an American IPA produced by the Alaskan Brewing Company in Alaska. This exceptional beer is the Alaskan benchmark and is made with glacier water and all-natural ingredients. Rich tropical tastes and aromas of guava, passion fruit, and citrus are followed by soft herbal undertones, sharp hop bitterness, and a silky smooth and thirst-quenching finish. Smash Galaxy IPA offers an impressive ABV of 8.5%.
- Walkabout Pale Ale: Walkabout Pale Ale is a fantastic pale Ale produced by the Flat 12 Bierwerks in Indianapolis. This pale Ale delivers rich, bold tastes and aromas of passion fruit with subtle undertones of creamy malt. The use of Galaxy hops is excellent, with a fruity, hoppy, and satisfying finish. Walkabout Pale Ale offers an ABV of 5.5%.
- Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy: Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy is a double IPA produced by the Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont. This full-flavored IPA offers strong tastes and aromas of pineapple, citrus, tropical fruits, and earthy pine. There are obscene amounts of Galaxy hops used in the brewing process, and the result is a superb beer with high levels of hop bitterness. The finish is silky smooth and rewarding. Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy offers an ABV of 8%.
What Commercial Beer Brands Combine Galaxy Hops with Other Hop Varieties?
Below are five outstanding beers that use Galaxy and other varieties of hops when producing their beer:
- Lagunitas Hazy Memory: Hazy Memory is a remarkable New-England Style IPA produced by the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Chicago. It is made using Citra, Galaxy, and Loral hops and beautiful tastes and aromas of passion fruit and blueberries. Hazy Memory IPA is an “adjunct” IPA, with all-natural wheat and oats making up a substantial portion of the grit. This results in an exceptionally smooth and refreshing finish with moderate levels of hop bitterness. This hop-forward IPA offers an above-average ABV of 8%.
- Rainbows and Unicorns: Rainbows and Unicorns is an outstanding full-flavored beer produced by the Breakside Brewery in Portland. This rare and unique beer offers exquisite aromas of fresh spice, creamy caramel, and rich toffee. Flavors of chocolate, toasted oak, grapes, and citrus are followed by a memorable and thirst-quenching finish. Rainbows and Unicorns offer moderate levels of bitterness and an impressive ABV of 9%.
- Flying Dog Tropical Bitch: Tropical Bitch is produced by the Flying Dog Brewery in Maryland. This fruity and full-flavored beer was brewed in celebration of the Flying Dog Breweries’ 25th anniversary. Tropical Bitch offers intense aromas and tastes of juicy tropical fruits with additional notes of passion fruit, mango, and pineapple. Tropical Bitch offers an ABV of 7%.
- Beavertown Neck Oil: Beavertown Neck Oil is a simple and full-flavored IPA produced by the Beavertown Brewing Company in Tottenham, London, England. This brewery is notorious for quality brews, and this example is no different. It is easy-drinking with lovely tastes and aromas of tropical fruits, citrus zest, and earthy pine. Low levels of bitterness are followed by a refreshing and thirst-quenching finish. Beavertown Neck Oil IPA offers an ABV of 4.3%.
- Death Tripper: Death Tripper is an excellent New England IPA proudly produced by the Tired Hands Brewing Company in Pennsylvania. It is made with generous amounts of Simcoe, Galaxy, and Columbus hops and delivers extreme amounts of hop aromas, tastes, and bitterness. Additionally, this fine IPA is made with all-natural oats and wheat. The finish is remarkably smooth, bitter, and thirst-quenching. Death Tripper New England IPA offers an ABV of 6.7%.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What do Galaxy Hops taste like?
Answer: Galaxy hops are highly sought after and prized for their intense aromas and tastes of passion fruit, juicy peach, and citrus zest. They contain high levels of alpha acid and are ideal for aroma and dry-hopping. When used for dry-hopping or later additions, the lovely flavors and aromas are greatly enhanced. For this reason, Galaxy Hops are particularly popular amongst IPA and Imperial IPA lovers.
Question: Are Galaxy hops ideal for dry-hopping?
Answer: Galaxy hops are fantastic all-around hops that are ideal for dry-hopping. Aromas and tastes of passion fruit, juicy peach, and citrus are greatly enhanced when added to the boil. The distinct aromas and flavors are appreciated by brewer and beer lovers who enjoy hop-forward beers.
Question: What is a Galaxy IPA?
Answer: A Galaxy IPA is a single-malt IPA (India Pale Ale) that is produced by the Alaskan Brewing Company. It is made with authentic malt, and the brewery only uses Galaxy hops in the brewing process. Passion fruit and citrus aromas dominate this outstanding IPA with lovely undertones of fresh tropical fruits. The finish is smooth and satisfying with a semi-sweet bitterness.
Question: Why are Galaxy hops so expensive?
Answer: Galaxy hops are expensive because they are unique, rare, and in high demand. Additionally, brewers often use double the amount of hops found in American IPA’s. Higher-priced varietals are also required to deliver the powerful tastes and aromas of tropical fruit that these outstanding hops are known for.
Question: What are Galaxy hops good for?
Answer: Galaxy Hops are multi-purpose and extremely versatile. They offer high levels of essential oils, which results in excellent aromatic and flavoring qualities. They offer high levels of alpha acid, which results in outstanding bittering qualities. Additionally, they are ideal for dry-hopping and later additions.
Galaxy Hops Guide: Final Thoughts
The Galaxy hop is a unique and rare hop created by the Hops Products of Australia in 1994. This variety is extremely versatile and offers high levels of both essential oils and alpha acids. High levels of essential oils deliver bold tastes and aromas of passion fruit, juicy peach, and citrus zest. High levels of alpha acid offer outstanding bittering qualities. The Galaxy hop is ideal for dry-hopping and greatly enhances the tastes and aromas when added to the boil.
This is a fantastic hop variety, and it’s no surprise it is in demand worldwide. The aromas and tastes are exquisite, and I love the high levels of hop bitterness. If you enjoy IPA’s and other hop-forward beer styles, you will enjoy this hop variety. Unfortunately, this hop is rare and expensive. It cannot be grown at home as it is under patent, and no rhizomes are commercially available for home-growers.