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Breaking It Down: The Difference Between Amarillo and Citra

When talking about craft beer, it’s inevitable that hops come into the conversation. Hops have been around in the brewing industry for forever (no, really, like hundreds of years), but have become more and more nuanced as the industry grows.

Hops are to beer what grapes are to wine, and affect the entire identity of a beer. While growing, they are sensitive to everything from sunlight to soil consistency, similarly to how grapes are affected by the terroir they grow in.

When added to beer, the first flavor that comes to mind when thinking about hops is bitterness, but that isn’t the only thing hops are used for. Depending on how the hops are used in the brewing process, they can impart citrus, fruity, and floral aromas and flavors, along with bitterness.

Here at Omaha Brewing Company, two of our favorite hops are Amarillo and Citra. While both hops can be used to achieve citrusy notes, there are notable differences between the two.


The Amarillo hop, which we use in our Hannahatchee Creek IPA, is special because it can be used dually as an aroma/flavoring hop as well as a bittering hop. It is distinctly flowery and tropical, adding orange and lemon flavors during the brewing process.

When we use Amarillo in Hannahatchee Creek, we use a dry-hopping method in order to create a flavorful brew with a relatively low perceived bitterness.

More information about Amarillo hops: Craft Beer Academy


The Citra hop is one of the most popular aroma/flavoring hops out there. We use it in our 5.56 Dry-Hopped Lager, to create a sessionable spring lager. Citra bestows delicious fruity flavors (think orange, lychee, and grapefruit), as well as tropical notes.

Using Citra gives an inherent drinkability to a brew, as it is not a commonly used bittering hop. When dry-hopped, like in the 5.56, it is especially aromatic without adding too much bitterness. It’s fruity flavor-profile makes for a creating a refreshing beer, great for springtime!

More information about Citra hops:

Though the two hops both create fruity notes in a beer, they have distinct differences, particularly in their uses. One thing they both have in common: they are perfect for creating delicious craft beer!

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