Saaz hops have long been established as a high quality European aroma variety. Traditionally used for European lager type beers, they have now been used successfully in the UK imparting that earthy lager hop flavour found in the Czech version of Budweiser.
Saaz originates from the Czech Republic and are renowned for their high quality aroma. The variety has developed over many years from hops grown in and around the Zatec (Saazer) area.
Saaz hops are a low yielding high quality aroma variety. A lot of work has been carried out over the years in an attempt to improve the yield. This has been achieved through clone selection as it was feared that hybridisation would result in a loss of the traditional aroma characteristics. Until quite recently all research was aimed at improving the hops this wayhowever some hybridisation has occurred in recent years to improve the susceptibility to Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew and Verticillium Wilt. All the selections are marketed as Zatec (Saazer) hops and it is claimed that they are extremely uniform although there do seem to be some differences in the appearance of the cones if not the aroma.