Coined as the world’s third most consumed liquid, beer has definitely permeated cultures and nations across the globe. Different countries have made their own versions of their very own beer concoctions. Behind every distinct beer known in different countries is a uniquely hand crafted, homebrewed fusion of water, malt, yeast, and hops. Among these four key ingredients, the hops are definitely the best determinant of how well every beer turns out. Both their flavors and aromas make the guzzling of beer distinct on the palate.
Before hops were documented as ingredients in making homebrewed German beer in 1079, beers were relished with herbs, berries, fruit extracts, whole grains, spruce needles, and even tree barks. From the 13th until the 16th century, hops slowly crept into the beer making industry and its cultivation gradually flourished in Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom. From these pioneering countries, the eminence of homebrewed beer became even more inimitable as the hops-filled homebrewed craze became more than just a tittle-tattle.
Satisfy Your Palate with the Right Kind of Hops
Hops are usually named after their place of origins, and are generally classified according to their properties – the Bitter (Alpha) and the Aroma Hops. The Admiral, Brewer’s Gold, Bullion, Tomahawk are English hops with high bittering qualities. If you want your beer strong and pungent, then opting for these hops will give you that strong bitter taste you’re aiming for.
If you’re opting for a milder, zesty beer variant, then using hops like Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Polish Loblin, Saaz, Tettnanger, Willamette, Fuggle, and Crystal is certainly the way to go. A citrus-craving palate is sure to be satisfied by hops like the Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Galena, and Olympic. These, too, have fruity overtones in their aromas.
Of course there’s still an even wider assortment of hop variants out there. From New Zealand’s Nelson Sauvin, Australia’s Galaxy, down to the most exotic and earthy hops found in Asia and other European regions. Experiencing and tasting more pronounced varieties of beer will certainly be an adventure in itself. Whatever your taste is, you’ll certainly find the perfect hops that will give you that unique beer experience.
Hops – Beyond Taste and Aroma
For master home brewers, successful home beer making is certainly defined past the taste and aroma… and hops still play the roles that go beyond your taste buds and olfactory nerves. The clear hues in beer can be greatly credited to the hops’ filtering properties along with their innate clarifying agents. They also inhibit the growth of bacteria, thereby extending the shelf life of your home brewed concoction. Their chemical content in the form of dimethylvinyl carbinol also induces the release of relaxing hormones in the body.
Along with these advantages, perhaps one of the greatest benefits that home brewers can get from these herbaceous perennials is the sense of discovery and the thrill of experimentation from testing different hops with idiosyncratic aromas and tastes. Trying out different hops in home beer making can be an exciting fusion of flavors, cultures, skills, and palate surprises. After all, brewing with the best hops can be redefined beyond scientific names, assorted aromas, or chemical properties. You can have the best beer simply by having the best journey in crafting your very own beer recipe.