Wild about Hops

We have discussed the importance of hops before and what they can do to a beer like an IPA in terms of aroma, bitterness and sweetness.  These hops are not solely reserved for use with pale ales though, with many brewers using different hops by region to elicit grand textures to different styles of beer.  I’m fascinated at how the earth can yield such different hop variations by region and it truly makes each country that produces its own hop varieties unique.  Let’s briefly discuss how different these hops are and what you can generally expect when you see these names or regions pop up when enjoying your favorite beverage.

  • Noble Hops – Responsible for all of those delicious German lagers we love.  Noble hops are woodsy/peppery/spicy giving us an interesting bouquet to ponder when enjoying a cold fermented beverage from continental Europe’s finest breweries.
  • English Hops – This earthy hop is typically added to English bitters, pale ales and IPA’s.  Grassy and Lemony notes abound in this floral hop.  Personal favorites here are Golding and Fuggle hops, often used in brown and pale ales.
  • American Hops – The bread and butter of what we see in APA’s, IPA’s and just about any other beer style anymore.  You’ll often hear people refer to some of these hops as the C’s.  When you see names like Cascade, Citra and Amarillo you can expect heavy citrus notes from grapefruit rind to orange peel.  Other hops like Columbus, Centennial and Chinook have strong pine resin and flowery characteristics giving amazingly bitter yet complex notes for all levels of hop lover.
  • Australian and New Zealand Hops  I truly think the hops that come from this region of the world are the juiciest and most vibrant on this list.  Galaxy, Topaz and Nelson Sauvin are easily the most floral, juiciest and tropical hop varieties that I have ever tried.  Anytime you see these hop varieties in any beer go out of your way to try them, I promise you wont be disappointed.

This concludes our brief on hop varieties, now go out there and find the ones that best suit you.  Cheers!…

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