Golding Hops Mystery Explained

Goldings Hops are a staple in almost any English ale and used widely in browns, porters, pale ales and stouts. But one can get confused when trying to buy them. I will attempt to explain the mystery behind Golding Hops in this article.

The official explaination goes something like this…

“They are characterized through analysis as having an alpha:beta ratio of 1:1, low alpha-acid levels (2–5%) with a low cohumulone content, low myrcene in the hop oil, high humulene in the oil, a ratio of humulene:caryophyllene above three, and poor storability resulting in them being more prone to oxidation. In reality, this means they have a relatively consistent bittering potential as they age, due to beta-acid oxidation, and a flavor that improves as they age during periods of poor storage.”

In layman’s terms this just said  – Goldings are prized for their smooth spicy floral aroma and have a typical alpha between 2-5%, and as they age they get better making them a great addition to just about any craft beer.

So what is the deal with Golding Hops then, there are just so many varieties.  You have; East Kent Goldings, Kent Goldings, Goldings, Styrian Goldings, Whitbread Goldings, So many Goldings! Too many if you ask me.

Basically all Goldings Hops are the from the same strain of hop. However where they mostly differ is where they are grown (unless that grower has a hybrid strain) and where they are grown is in the name.  For example, The principal production centers in the UK are in Kent which produces Kent Goldings Hops, just as the more rare variety of East Kent Goldings Hops are produced in centers in East Kent.

The only exception to this rule being Whitbread Goldings. Whitbread Goldings Hops were produced by a gentleman by the name of Mr. White, who back in 1911 at his hop farm at Beltring in Kent, England. invented this hybrid variety of Goldings.

So which one do you pick? I go by this simple rule – if it is an English ale my Golding Hops will be from the UK. I will only use Golding Hops from some other place in an English Ale if I cannot find the UK variety I am looking for. Simple.

But for your convenience here’s a quick list of where these hops come from:

Styrian Golding Hops: Yugoslavia
Goldings Hops (US): US – usually indicated with (US) in the label
Golding Hops(UK) – UK – usually indicated with a (UK) in the label
East Kent Goldings Hops: East Kent UK
Kent Goldings Hops: Kent UK
Whitbread Goldings Hops: Kent UK

As you can see some varieties only indicate the country of origin rather than region. I consider these hops the generic Goldings Hops and comparable in alpha and quality to regionized versions.

I hope this cleared up the whole Goldings Hops mystery! Thanks for reading!

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