Blue Northern Brewer

Blue Northern Brewer Hops: Crafting the Jolliest Ales on the Block

Reading Time: around 3 min

So you’ve stumbled upon the curious case of the Blue Northern Brewer, haven’t you? It’s like finding a rare Pokémon in the wild. Exciting but a tad bit confusing. This hop variety, flaunting bluish or purple leaves, could have been the belle of the ball in your craft beer. 

But here’s the kicker: it’s more of a wallflower. 

Its yields are like my willpower around donuts – pretty low.

But let’s not muddle it up with its more popular cousin, the Northern Brewer, which is a workhorse in the brewing world. The Blue Northern Brewer is the hipster of hops. 

Aesthetically appealing, sure, but when it comes to brewing, it’s not exactly the VIP. 

Believe me, it would rather grace your garden than groove in your stout or IPA. Think of it as a hop that’s here for a good time. Not for a long time, and certainly not to transform any ale into the talk of the town.

Key Takeaways

  • Blue Northern Brewer is a unique but low-yielding hop variety.
  • It’s primarily ornamental and not typically used for brewing.
  • Northern Brewer is its productive cousin, more suitable for beer styles like stouts and IPAs.


Diving Into the Blue Northern Brewer Hop

Listen up, friend, let’s take a whirlwind tour of the Blue Northern Brewer hop. This is not your everyday hop. It’s like the mysterious cousin of the well-known Northern Brewer.

Flashing its fancy blue and purple leaves as if they were at a hop fashion show.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) calls this hop variety a “mutant”. Ouch, that wasn’t very nice. In my opinion, perhaps even a bit harsh.

Main Characteristics

  • Purpose: Universal?
  • Aromas: No information
  • Notes: No information
  • Alpha-acids: 6.0% – 8.0% [bitterness added through boiling]
  • Beta-acids: 3.0% – 4.0% [bitterness added through lagering]
  • Cohumulone: around 24% of alpha-acids [bitterness profile: low = smooth, high = sharp]
  • Hops oil breakdown: around 0.7 mL / 100g [responsible for flavors and aromas]
    • Myrcene: 27% – 40% [resinous, citrus, fruity]
    • Humulene: around 29% [noble, woody, spicy]
    • Caryophyllene: No information [spicy, piney, herbal]
    • Farnesene: No information [fresh, green, floral]


Characteristics: Aroma and Flavor

Blue Northern Brewer hops supposedly have a unique profile that can be tricky to nail down. Imagine a lemony zest tangling with a hint of Chinook . It’s like a fruit salad in your nose.

But before you get too excited, remember these hops are more for showing off in the garden than flavoring your pint. Their aroma and flavor contributions tend to be…

…more of a whisper than a shout.

The Brewing Affair: Uses and Recipes

When it comes to brewing, Blue Northern Brewer hops are a bit like that actor who has one line in a movie. They’re there, but you might not notice them. If you insist on trying to brew with them, keep it simple. 

Pair it with a malt that doesn’t steal the spotlight.

And aim for a low IBU so that its subtle bitterness can play a shy peekaboo.

The Perfect Match: Beer Styles Galore

If Blue Northern Brewer were to swipe right on a beer style, it would likely fancy a subtle Saison or a dainty Irish Red. You could try them in a Red Ale if you’re feeling adventurous. 

Stouts might be too overpowering for their delicate dance of flavors.

So maybe Swipe left on those.

Perfect Addition to Your Garden?

These hops could be the supermodels of your garden, with foliage that turns heads and steals hearts. Don’t expect a bountiful harvest, since they’re the low-yield type.

But they’ll pose pretty among your plants.

If you’re looking for ornamental value over a full foam head on your homebrew…

…these hops will strut their stuff in the greenery catwalk of yours.

Picture of Damian


A lifelong learner, hop enthusiast and a lover of the state of extreme exhaustion.

Finance Analyst in the Investment Bank and co-founder of