Hop Variety




Alpha Acid %


Beta Acid %



Challenger is another British hop developed at the Wye college and was released commercially in 1972. Like many variations of hop it was developed to try and create a more disease resistant line of hops and Challenger was intended to have a higher alpha acid content for bittering purposes. Challengers parents include Northern Brewer.

Brewing Attributes

The primary intention for Challenger was to be a higher alpha acid%  hop which was also more disease resistant than alternatives at the time. Having met the challenges the name was applied. It is also however a good dual use hop with earthy and spicy aroma qualities. The bittering quality is smooth and full bodied and are used in many English style bitters, porters and stouts in conjunction with other hops.

Possible Substitutions

Northern Brewer its parent hop has similar bittering qualities to Challenger if you are looking for the same rounded character. Perle hops are said to be a good substitute as they have the earthy and spicy qualities akin to Challenger.

Commercial Examples

As with a lot of English hops there are hundred of beers that will use them in combination with other varieties for their beers, some good commercial examples though include the following:

Dark Star – Espresso – A dark beer made with Challenger hops and coffee. The hops can be a bit overwhelmed by the flavour though.

Coniston Brewery – Bluebird Bitter – Made with just Challenger and you get the earthyness from them but also some fruity notes.