Alpha Acid %
Beta Acid %
Saaz is considered a noble hop and are also one of the finest hops in the world. Saaz is a landrace variety of hop meaning it has grown in the same region for hundreds of years and is perfectly suited to the growing conditions through breeding.
The name Saaz is from the town Zatec in the Czech Republic and the hop is used extensively in Bohemian or Czech Pilsners for which it’s delicate aroma is perfectly suited. As with many varieties of hops Saaz are grown outside of the Czech Republic under different names, one example being Montueka in New Zealand which has Saaz parentage.
Saaz has very similar qualities to other noble hops in Europe a fine, delicate and celebrated aroma. The aroma is subtle with an earthy, peppery quality and fairly crisp. The low alpha acid and pedigree make Saaz an unsuitable choice for bittering and it would be slightly wasted in this role.
Light beers and lagers are the domain for Saaz where it really has a chance to shine, in darker beers it can be lost unless used in higher quantities. It’s also notable for its usage in Belgian ales where balance and nuance are required.
Other noble hops of the region such as Tettnang and Spalter have similar aroma qualities. Substitutes should really be considered for the style of beer being brewed. If you are making a lager or light ale then replace with a hop suitable for the style. The hop Lublin from Poland is noted as a comparable substitute as well.
Pilsner Urquell is a beer that displays the qualities of Saaz particularly well and it is also available pretty much everywhere in the world. As mentioned previously Pilsners showcase Saaz perhaps better than any other style of beer.