Alpha Acid %
14 – 20%
Beta Acid %
4.5 – 5.5%
Columbus is one of three hops that are grouped together and often referred to as CTZ. The other two varieties are Tomahawk and Zeus. Tomahawk is exactly the same as Columbus and Zeus is so similar that they are indistinguishable in the finished beer. Columbus is a descendant of Nugget and the issues surrounding its patents and trademark name cause the confusion between the three hops above.
Columbus is widely grown in the US and is part of the big “3 C” hops along with Cascade and Centennial. The 3 C hops are all grown in the Pacific Northwest and have gained tremendous popularity despite being a relatively new hop variety, only being introduced in the 1950’s
Columbus is used as a dual purpose hop. The high alpha acid content makes it an ideal early bittering addition and the bittering quality is good.
Despite it’s ideal usage as a bittering hop Columbus does make a good late addition and dry hop. The aroma is earthy and pungent with citrus notes. I have found it a great late addition when used with other hops, it seems to create a good aroma that works well with a lot of other hop varieties.
Columbus are an ideal addition to Pale Ales, IPA’s and American Amber style beers as well as working well in darker beers. They have a black pepper and liquorice note that can work well in stouts and porters.
If you cannot find Columbus try looking for it’s other trade names of Tomahawk, Zeus or CTZ it may be that your supplier will have one of these namesakes rather than Columbus. If none of these are available Nugget is a good substitute for bittering additions and I find Chinook or Centennial in combination have similar aroma characteristics.