Sterling Hops


Moderate bittering values with a mix of Saaz and Mt. Hood properties. Herbs and spices dominate, flowers and citrus around the fringes.

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Hop Qualities

Sterling Hops Flavor

American floral hop released in 1998. A cross between Saaz and Mount Hood in character but easier to grow. (Reference)

Hop Growers of America Information

Sterling is an aroma variety that was bred from Saaz and a number of other varieties. It has herbal and spicy aroma notes with a hint of floral and citrus. Sterling is perceived to be similar to a combination of Saaz and Mt. Hood, and many brewers use it as a replacement for Saaz. It is typically used in Pilsners and Lagers, as well as Belgian-style Ales.
Commercial Examples:
Pilsners, Lagers, Belgian-style Ales
Acid Range (Alpha %)
6–9% 6–9%
Beta Range
22–28% of alpha acids
Total Oils
1.3–1.9 Mls. per 100 grams dried hops
44–48% of total oils
5–7% of total oils
19–23% of total oils
11–17% of total oils
Possible Substitutions

USDA Sterling Hops Information

SELECTION: seedling selection Nr. 9043-52
GENUS: Humulus
SPECIES: lupuls
CULTIVAR: Sterling
PEDIGREE: USDA 21522 x USDA 21361M
Saazer 38 x [Cas x (65009 - 64035M)]
PRIMARY SITE USDA/OSU hop farm, East Farm, Corvallis, OR.
ORIGIN: seedling selection from cross 9043 made by Dr. Al Haunold in 1990
DATE RECEIVED: spring 1991
METHOD RECEIVED: seedling selection
AVAILBILITY: no restricions, commercial cultivar
REFERENCES: various USDA/ARS annual reports starting in 1990
Various Annual Reports to the Hop Research Council starting in 1993
USDA/ARS: Notice of release of Santiam, a new aroma hop. Summer 1999
MATURITY: medium to medium early
LEAF COLOR: dark green
SEX: female
DISEASES: downy mildew: moderately resistant
VIGOR: powdery mildew: moderately resdistant
Verticillum wilt: no information; no symptoms observed in OR test plots
Viruses: free of all major hop viruses at the time of release
YIELD: very good, 1,800 to 2,000 lbs/acre in Oregon test plots
SIDE ARM LENGTH: 24 to 36 inches
ALPHA ACIDS: 6 to 9%
BETA ACIDS: 4 to 6%
OIL: 1.3 to 1.9 ml/100 g
Humulene 19 - 23; caryophyllene 5 - 7; farnesene 11-17; myrcene 46; no selenine ; H/C ratio = 3.3
MAJOR TRAITS: diploid, 2n = 20; aroma and oil compositoin very similar to Saazer (USDA 21077) and other Saazer clones. Pleasant continental aroma;
suitable for replacing Saazer hops in brewery blends. Much higher yield potential than Saazer hops.
OTHER INFORMATION: This hop has only been tested commercially in Oregon. The initial release by USDA is based on Oregon test results. Testing in Washington state is under way.


Sterling is an aroma variety with herbal and spicy notes with a hint of floral and citrus.  It is typically used in Pilsners and Lagers, as well as Belgian-style Ales.

Additional information

Weight 1 oz
Dimensions 1 × 0.5 × 3 in


  • Portland Beer Org, a great place to buy and learn about hops.   There, you can read about hop varieties, look up current Alpha Acid Percentages, and click a button to have hops delivered to your home.”

  • The Press Democrat, CA

    “There are many good websites for in-depth information, and one site in particular is from Oregon. It covers a wide range of information on growing hops.”

  • Serious Eats article on homebrewing

    “Fresh hops come around once a year in the fall. In the United States, most of the fresh hops you can get will come from Oregon or Washington (unless you grow them yourself.) One good source is Freshops,”

  • Stevie, TX

    FresHops is a great source. I get an order or two from them every year. ...their hops are incredible. The best Mt. Hood I have ever used has been from them. I really use that one a lot, and damn, it is tasty. I do like the clarity of wort produced when filtering through a bed of cones.

  • Barley69

    I love Freshops! They have a much better selection of American-style hops like simcoe-amarillo-Etc.

  • Aeneas via Brewboard

    I like Freshops, personally. They allow me to order in smaller increments and have a better selection.

  • Jonathan, The Beer Mapping Project

    As far as I can tell, this is also where many other homebrew shops also get their hop rhizomes from. Prices on rhizomes are a bit cheaper if you order directly from Freshops, so check their website in early spring to see which kind of hops and hop rhizomes they have for sale. Also, don't forget to check out their website for one-of-a-kind instructions on raising hops and tons of other articles about hops.

  • Atrill, Chicago IL

    My order for hop rhizomes arrived in less than a week - and they were in great shape when they arrived. I've had bad luck ordering hop rhizomes from others in the past, but I will order from them [Freshops] again.

  • Lily Jen, Jacksonville OR

    I ordered 5 different hop rhizomes from Freshops. Every one of them was very large and in great shape! Fast shipping, great prices, nice website. I will order from them again.

  • Carrie Hafele, AKGrows in Alaska

    I was half expecting this hop not to grow in AK, but some of its shoots are already three inches tall! I definitely recommend them and would get more if I had more places to plant them!

  • James Sullivan
    Got a couple pounds of Freshops delivered yesterday. Food for my hop rocket! Time to brew, thanks y'all!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! — Providence Village, Texas.
  • SA Chris

    You guys rock! The rhizomes I ordered are kicking butt in southern New Jersey!

  • Shout out to Freshops for their quality brew product! Delicious hops.

  • Joshua King

    Super friendly and helpful staff! My order was processed and shipped graciously fast.

  • Corey Patrick

    I had nothing short of an excellent experience with Dave and his company, I would not hesitate to take my business back to him again. I made an error and told him there were some missing rhizomes, but upon further inspection, they were actually in the shipment. I quickly told him they were there, and he sent me more out of good will! I got a 100% growth rate on his rhizomes, and they're extremely healthy.

  • Donald Mowers

    Dave's selection of hops is very good and his knowledge is great.

  • James Deatherage

    Knowledgeable and helpful staff, always friendly and helpful.  5 stars on Google!

  • Dave at Freshops is a… super nice guy, and he runs a clean ship. I shop there.

  • Nancy Scott

    Everyone who saw my garden wanted to know what that gorgeous plant was! Next year they will be covering a 20′ x 20′ purgola. Thanks again!

  • David R. Waite

    I wanted to tell you how extremely pleased I am with the quality of these hops! I have never purchased whole hops that look and smell this wonderful.
    Thanks for quick turnaround on the order, and for making hops of this quality and value available to fellow homebrewers.

  • Joe Harris

    I called you on a Friday and ordered 8 rhizomes. The following Monday, I received the order in the mail. You must have processed my order immediately for it to arrive that quickly, thanks! Special thanks to you for tremendous service, great products at great prices.

  • Robert

    Just from the feel, and smell, of these hops, I can say that (Greg Noonan’s recommendation) was right on the money… thanks for a great product!

  • John Boston

    As a 13 year home brew veteran, and former president of the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers, I must say your hops were the freshest and highest quality I have ever seen or smelled. I have been a Northern Brewer fan since visiting the Anchor Brewery in 1987, but I have never come across any Northern Brewer hops that rivaled those Anchor uses... until this batch arrived. The 4 oz of Cascade that came as part of your Value Pack were also a delight to behold.

  • Rick Oftel

    Just wanted to thank you again for the extremely fresh and prompt shipment of my last order.
    Just last evening, I brewed up a German style lager using the N.Z. Hallertauer and Magnum whole hops.
    Looking forward to many future purchases and just wanted to thank you for your attention to detail and also for allowing me the chance to make such great beer!

  • Sherry Leveque

    I received your root stock in record time and excellent condition. I am impressed.

  • Mitch K.

    I have worked at two of the three largest nurseries in America, but I can’t recall anything that has a more vigorous growth rate than these hops.
    I just wanted to say thanks for the fast service and viable rhizomes. You are a great company!

  • Curtis Hale

    I am writing to thank you for an excellent transaction.