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Beer Ingredients: Hops

Hops are flowers from the clinging vine Humulus Lupulus, a part of the same dynamic and popular plant family that produces hemp. Brewing varieties grow throughout the world, most notably in the Czech Republic, Germany, England, the Pacific Northwest and China.

Hop flower oils provide the bitterness to counter maltís sweetness, resulting in a (hopefully) appealing flavor balance in your brew. And hops can do other tricks, too. They foster a beerís distinct aroma and they can act as a preservative. The preservative quality of hops was especially useful before refrigeration, and explains some of the highly hopped styles that were developed for long distance delivery by sailing ship.

Hop varieties differ in the ways they contribute to aroma and bittering, or finishing, so the possibilities are practically endless. Noble hops in particular are highly prized for their uniquely delicate aroma profile. They are essential ingredients in recreating many classic European beer styles.

Beer Ingredients: Hops