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Old 05-21-2009, 11:31 AM   #1

Looking around, I don't see very much Columbus for sale anywhere. In fact, I only see pellets at Steinbarts in Portland and don't see whole leaf anywhere. Freshops lists Zeus as Columbus like, but in my experience that is completely false. I did a single hop beer a long time ago with Zeus and it was really piney and resinous. Nothing like Columbus, at least to me.

Anyway, I used to use Columbus more than any other hop. My absolute favorite for all additions.

But what happened? Did it fall out of favor? Did they have a bad crop year for that hop? I saw some places don't have very many varieties in general and saw Hoptech said something about an off crop year or something. Anybody know where to get whole leaf Columbus online via mail order? Any further info about what's up with Columbus is appreciated.

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Old 05-21-2009, 11:44 AM   #2
Beerrific's Avatar
Mar 2007
Posts: 5,562
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My understanding...

Columbus sold/grown by S.S. Steiner=Zeus
Columbus sold/grown by Yakima Chief=Tomahawk
Columbus sold/grown by anyone else=Columbus

Sometimes people just say "CTZ." I am sure they are not the same to the extent that every variety grown at different farms is different.

I think Hop Union sells them under the Columbus name. It looks like Ed is carrying Columbus plugs:

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:41 PM   #3

I simply don't believe that Zeus is the same. I've read that they're similar, but from direct experience, I just don't believe it. Never tried Tomahawk, however. But just found this online:

Columbus Hops | Brew Dudes

As a continuation of our “Three Cs” hop profile series, this post is an examination of Columbus hops. As I dug into the history of this variety, I uncovered a saga of multiple identities and lawsuits.

Origin: It was bred in the USA by HopUnion. The year it was cultivated and made available to the public is hazy, but I am guessing early 1990s on the availability. Now, this variety also goes by the name of Tomahawk, which is a copyright of Yakima Chief, Inc. Based on the details of a lawsuit that was filed against Charles E. Zimmerman, it seems that Yakima Chief received this variety through Mr. Zimmerman and rebranded it. Columbus hops are now patented and owned by a joint venture between Mr. Zimmerman and HopUnion. They mended their relationship and YC still gets to sell Tomahawk hops.

(The Zeus hop variety is said to be similar if not identical to Columbus/Tomahawk, but I could not find any information about the ownership of that particular variety.

Aroma: Earthy, spicy, pungent, with some citrus overtones. Not overwhelmingly citrus like Cascade.

Alpha Acid: 14% to 16%

Typical Usage: Again, another dual purpose hop. Many sources saying it was a good candidate for a single hopped beer.

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:42 PM   #4


Hopunion CBS

Columbus Dispute Resolved
Hopunion and Charles E. Zimmermann have resolved their dispute concerning the ownership of the 9/17 and 12/10 hop varieties. These hops have been sold commerically as the Columbus variety, and also under the Tomahawk brand name, and belong to a new generation of hop plants called super high-alpha hops. These super high-alpha hop varieties have great commercial value because they consistently produce an exceptionally high yield of hop cones per acre, and the hop cones contain a very high percentage of alpha acids which is the bittering agent used by many of the world’s brewers to flavor beer. Also both the 9/17 and 12/10 hop varieties have apparently demonstrated some resistance to powdery mildew, a deadly hop plant disease which mysteriously appeared last year in the Yakima Valley. Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, the parties have agreed that Mr. Zimmermann is the creator of the 9/17 and 12/10 super high-alpha hop varieties and that both parties have ownership rights to the varieties. Both Hopunion and Mr. Zimmermann will be assigning all their ownership rights in these hop varieties to a joint venture. The joint venture will then be responsible for licensing the varieties to interested hop growers and for preventing any unlicensed use of the hop varieties. Hopunion will be the joint venture partner responsible for overseeing all licensing and enforcement activities. The availability of licenses to grow 9/17 and 12/10 as powdery mildew tolerant super high-alpha hop varieties is expected to generate a great deal of interest by the entire hop industry. Johannes Raiser, the chairman of Hopunion, said he was glad the dispute was over: This has been difficult litigation, but I am glad to have resolved it on fair terms. We can now turn to the business of making sure these is no improper or unauthorized use by others. He indicated any licensing inquires should be directed to Dr. Gregory Lewis or Mr. Dennis Bakos of Hopunion. Mr. Zimmermann was also pleased that the litigation was over, and that he had been confirmed as the creator of the varieties: I am happy that my role in developing

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Old 05-21-2009, 12:54 PM   #5

BTW, thanks for the info on Tomahawk. Sounds like it's Columbus.

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Old 05-21-2009, 04:15 PM   #6
Nov 2008
Central WA
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You beat me to it....I was going to mention that you could try Tomahawk.
The growers refer to the CTZ as "Supers". Most farms in Yakima seem to be converting to Zeus. That is probably my buddies biggest yield of crop on his farm. The plant grows well and is tolerant to many bugs, although, farmers turn off irragation to a field about a week before harvest and if mildew comes in at the begining of that week, it wipes out the plants(it eats right through the cone and turns it ash color and makes it extremely brittle). And they can't spray it because of harvest, so they take a loss.
It hit really big last year and if people are labeling Zeus as Columbus, there's a piece of your puzzle
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:39 PM   #7

This all makes me wonder if that wasn't *really* Zeus I was sold all those years back. It was really pungent and piney. Who will ever know? But I guess I'll have to buy some Zeus and try them out again and see what they're like. Thanks for the info, guys.

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Old 05-21-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
May 2009
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They have columbus at Hops Direct, Cherries Direct - available today from Puterbaugh Farms
Thats where I got mine.

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