Challenger was bred at Wye College using Northern Brewer and a German variety in 1961. It is a dual use hop with a moderate alpha acid rating of 8%-9%. Challenger released in 1968 was intended to provide high alpha acids, good aroma as well as disease resistance.
Challenger has moderate levels of essential oils. Perhaps this speaks to the balance that it carries in beer. Its a low yielding hops variety for harvesting, yet Challenger has good sized cones.
Challenger can be added at the beginning of the boil in brewing for its bitterness or as late additions, and dry hopping for its aroma. The flavor of Challenger in beer is smooth, with floral character and some spice. Some of the sweeter citrus flavors will come through in the beer as well. Challenger has great diversity in beer styles, making it one that should be experimented with in home brew and commercial beers.
Common beer styles: English style ales and a variety including IPA, Red Ale, Bitter, Blonde Ale, Stout, Porter