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Everything You Need to Know About Alora™ Hops

Published: February 14, 2024
Promotional image for Alora, a hop variety from Hopsteiner

Brewers in the craft beer community continually search for the latest and greatest hops to elevate their beers. Previously, in this space, we’ve written about several popular hops—Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy, and Nectaron, to name a few. Could Alora™ be the next hop that makes brewers giddy and consumers obsessed?

We chatted with Hopsteiner, the hop manufacturer and breeding company that created Alora, as well as early adopters of the hop at Wild East Brewing, to find out.

(Above graphic courtesy of Hopsteiner)

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What Are the Ancestry and Analytics of Alora Hops?

An isolated, single hop on a white background

Graphic courtesy of Hopsteiner

According to Hopsteiner Marketing Manager Darren Stankey, Alora was first bred in the Hopsteiner Breeding Program around 2017-2018 under the name HS17701. When asked which hops they used for breeding, Stankey said it is a proprietary process and that the company has a private breeding program.

In creating the hop and deciding whether it’s worth commercializing, Stankey says they work with a list of professional brewers across the country, seeking feedback on the different varieties they breed—Lemondrop™ and Eureka!™ among them.

“Typically, they all have an awesome pilot-type brewery, a small barrelage brewhouse, and we use their skills and feedback to develop these hops,” Stankey says. “But we do have our own internal team that we do experimental brews on.”

Hopsteiner officially commercialized HS17701 under the name Alora in November 2023, the company announced in a news release. The name references the Latin word meaning “beautiful dream, dreamlike, or divine light,” according to the news release. Stankey said the company came up with the name during the U.S. hop harvest in September but delayed the announcement until they made the hop commercially available in November.

Stankey says there is one key feature that stands out about Alora.

“The unique oil content,” he says. “Over fifty percent [of the oils] are Selinene, a rare oil found in hops.”

Directly contributing to the hop’s flavor and aroma, Selinene falls outside of the commonly found oils in hops—namely Pinene, Myrcene, Limonene, Linalool, Caryophyllene, Farnesene, Humulene, and Geraniol.

... it is clear there is something special about the Selinene oil compound found in Alora.
Darren Stankey - Hopsteiner

“When looking at Alora, we came across a huge spike in the ‘unclassified’ category of our measurements,” Stankey says. “Selinene is a low volatility compound that imparts distinct citrus character directly into finished beer and can be found in fruits such as calamondin oranges and yuzu fruit.”

He adds, “There are still many discoveries to be made for how the synergistic effects of these compounds interact, but it is clear there is something special about the Selinene oil compound found in Alora.”

The hop also contains a high amount of 3MH, or bound thiol precursors.

“It has five times more bound precursor thiols than that of Cascade,” Stankey says. “3MH thiols are responsible for tropical fruit, passion fruit, and citrusy aroma-flavor in the beer.”

Stankey notes that Alora has an alpha acid range of seven to ten percent, beta acid from three-and-a-half to four percent, and total oils of one to one-and-a-half percent.

He also notes that the hop is genetically disease-resistant.

“Part of our breeding program is to generate high-yielding varieties that have disease resistance, which means less sprays, less fertilizer, less resources to grow,” Stankey says. “Alora is a carbon footprint-friendly hop.”

According to the Alora product page, the yield is around 2,550 to 2,800 pounds per acre and has a pound per CO2 emission output fifty-nine percent lower than an average of thirty other commercial hops.

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What Characteristics Shine in Alora Hops?

Promotional graphic for Alora hops - A single hop in a space galaxy setting

Graphic courtesy of Hopsteiner

“Apricot fruit roll-ups is what I get the most from this hop,” Wild East Co-Founder and Head of Brewing Brett Taylor says. “It’s so bright and nice.”

Hopsteiner says Alora boasts a blend of peach, apricot, sweet melon, and yuzu fruit. Stankey says the flavor and aroma stay true to those fruits.

“It’s a rollercoaster of aroma for me,” Stankey says. “When I rub this variety, the first thing that clicks is peach rings. After that, I get an undertone of apricot, and then a sort of melon rind comes through, then finishes off with a nice yuzu fruit kind of cocktail.”

Taylor expanded on his take on the flavor and aroma characteristics.

“It’s that sort of fruit-leather thing, especially apricot. There’s a touch of peach as well,” he says. “[Alora has] a lot of those juicy IPA sort of characteristics people dig.”

Apricot fruit roll-ups is what I get the most from this hop,
Brett Taylor - Wild East Brewing Co.

He adds, “There might be a touch of melon. People say yuzu, but I get more of a honeydew.”

Stankey says the flavor and aroma are true to form, adding that the 3MH profile helps those fruit elements shine in the taste and smell. Taylor concurs and emphasizes his appreciation of the hop.

“I think they caught lightning in a bottle with this one,” Taylor says. “I’m stoked to be in early on this.”

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When Should You Use Alora Hops and How Much?

“At any stage of the brewing process, Alora would be hugely beneficial for anyone looking to brew something unique and different,” Stankey says.

I think a single dry hop is fine,
Darren Stankey - Hopsteiner

Stankey says to get the direct transfer of the 3MH profile, it’s best to use the hop in the whirlpool, but the hop has benefits on the cold side as well.

“I think a single dry hop is fine,” says Stankey. “But you can get more benefits from double dosing.”

Stankey says he has heard of brewers using anywhere from one and a half to five pounds per barrel in the dry hop.

Taylor takes a different approach.

“I don’t like to use partial bags,” he says. “So if I open one of those eleven-pound bags of hops, I’m using the whole thing.”

Taylor says that when making his hoppy American lager, Leap Year, he used the hop throughout the process.

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About The Author

Giovanni Albanese

Giovanni is a content writer for Next Glass, contributing to the Ollie blog. He is a writer by day and a brewer/business owner by night, owning and operating Settle Down Brewery & Taproom in Gilroy, California.

Giovanni is passionate about a number of things, including history, documentaries and sports, but none more than reporting/writing and brewing beer. After receiving a radio broadcasting degree then a journalism degree from Salem State College in his home state of Massachusetts, he relocated to California in 2008.

Then, his writing career kicked off – covering sports, business, politics and more along the way – while concurrently dabbling in home brewing. The home brewing turned pro in 2021 when he launched SDB Brewing Company. Settle Down Beer officially opened in February.

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