Sterling is a mutt of a hop having 6 parents.  75% of Sterling’s genome comes from Saaz and Cascade and a tine pinch from Brewer’s Gold.  This leads some to describe Sterling as an “American Saaz” but she’s far from it.  She’s well suited to American style pilsners, blondes, etc.  In a pinch she can stand in for Saaz but don’t expect the same mellowness.
Bittering Skill Level:  Low
Aroma Skill Level: Moderate


Sterling has a complex bitterness likely due to her cascade/saaz parentage.  Being of moderate alpha acid it takes quite a bit of Sterling to provide the main bitterness for heavier beers and IPAs.  Use caution since Sterling can be astringent due to her higher levels of terpenes and tannins.


Sterling’s aroma profile is very similar to Saaz but punched up to 11.  High farnescene content makes her more pungent than mom Saaz so expect a bright bite with an underlying mustiness.

Alpha Acid

4% to 9%
Wisconsin average 6.2% (7 year average)

Beta Acid

4% to 7%
Wisconsin average 5.5% (7 year average)

Oil Content

0.5-1.9 ml/100gm
Wisconsin average 1.6% (7 year average)

Oil Breakdown

Myrcene ~ 50%
Humulene ~ 20%
Caryophyllene ~10%
Farnesene ~ 15%

Hot Side Aroma Profile

Sterling has a moderate sesqueterpine content so expect a substantial herbal hoppiness when added early in the boil.  The myrcene is also considerable but will flash off to a great extent if added much earlier than 20 minutes.  Most if not all of the farnescene will flash off during hot additions.

Pairs Well With

Cascade, Triple Pearl, Yakima Gold, Brewer’s Gold, Simcoe, Amarillo, Hallertauer, Mt. Hood, Crystal.


Avoid pungent hops like CTZ, Warrior, Summit since they will overwhelm easily

Cool Side Aroma Profile

Sterling as an interesting combination of noble musky character along with bright green fruit notes.  Very little in the way of grapefruit or pine.  These flavors develop well in dry hopping since farnescene is so easily lost with heat.

Pairs Well With

Cascade, Galena, Triple Pearl, Top Secret, Hull Melon, Nelson Sauvin, Riwaka, Mandarina Bavaria, Mt. Hood, Crystal


Extremely sulfurous monsters like CTZ, Summit, Warrior, Mosaic,