Beer Education: Hops

Humulus lupulus, aka HOPS. Where would beer be without these little buds. They are the main culprit behind those intoxicating flavors and aromas in your beer and in styles like our IPA, we go pretty hard in the paint with these things. 

Although we could have written a Harvard like dissertation on the subject matter, we thought it would be easier and more fitting to leave you with a few fun facts that you can throw down at the bar. 

1. Hops Are Flowers

Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) from the hop plant Humulus lupulus. Male hop plants don’t produce any of the essential oils needed to make beer, so hop farms are made up of only female flowers.

2. Hops Come from the Same Family as Cannabis

They come from the scientific family Cannabaceae, which also includes hemp and marijuana. Don't get any doesn't work like that. 

3. No Two Hops Are Alike

There are many different hop varietals and each one has its own unique profile. The flavors and aroma can range from pine to citrus to tropical. It's up to the brewers skill and experience to manipulate and bring out the particular flavors of a certain hop. 

4. Hops Climb

Hops grow on trellises that can be as tall as 20 feet and have been known to grow as much as 12 inches a day. Since they're such hardy climbers, people often mistaken them for a vine, but they're technically considered a bine. The bine grows clockwise around a support as it follows the sun across the sky. 

5. Hops Ain't Cheap!

At roughly $15/lb on average and using up 2-3 lbs per barrel at 8,000 barrels annually....well, we will let you do the math on that one.  

1 comment

  • Oso

    Thanks for the great information. Would like to learn more about the process you do with the hops.
    Went to Yakima Valley in Washington State and
    was amazed by the number of farms producing them.

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