00:48 Gina tells us about a couple of bucket list IPA’s
01:00 Gina tells us why hops were originally used in beer
01:20 Hop Varieties graphic
01:50 Gina explains how adding hops at different times during the brewing process changes the impact on the brew
03:22 Check out our Hop Gear
This is Gina with Craft Beer Hound and today we’re talking about IPA’s. IPA’s are wonderful hoppy beers that people love to talk about. What is it about IPA’s that make them special? It’s all about the hops. What is it about these little flowers that makes people go crazy? Waiting in line for hours for a new beer to come out… getting hop tattoos. Some of the best and most sought after beers in the world are IPA’s: Alchemist’s Heady Topper, Russian River’s Pliny the Younger… these are beers that people just go crazy over. What is it about these little flowers?
Well, although hops were originally introduced into beer as a preservative to help it last on long journeys with no refrigeration, people have really gotten to appreciate the taste and the flavors of hops and the smells and the bitterness. So, brewers now have a plethora of different hops to choose from: you’ve got spicy hops, fruity hops, floral hops, there are evergreen hops that you might recognize from Sierra Nevada – a lot of their beers, particularly the pale ales, have some really piney or evergreen hops in them. Deschutes likes to use – a lot of times, not always – but they like to use some really citrusy hops. Cascade is a pretty citrusy or grape-fruity hop.
And brewers also have another tool in their belts where they can – depending on when they introduce the hops into the boil – they can get different results. So if you put it in at the beginning of the boil, you’re gonna get some really bittering characteristics. You’re gonna get the astringencies from the alpha acids, and that’s basically all you’re going to taste from those – at least as far as I’m concerned – that’s all you taste from those original hops that you put in during the boil. But the later you put it into the boil then you start to get the flavors and it’s more of a flavoring hop and as you put it in right before the end of the boil, you’re gonna get all of those aromas. Then you can also dry hop them which is even more of the aroma characteristic.
So brewers really have an amazing palate to work with – just when it comes to hops – not even talking about malts or anything else. So hops are a really great ingredient – in my opinion – of beer and it doesn’t have to be the super hop-forward, bittering IPA’s that we’re talking about today – which are marvelous and amazing and I’m a west coast girl so I love them – but they do have these controls of the hops on how much of this bittering that they’re gonna get. They can use hops with lower alpha acids. So even for people who hops and being a “hop head” isn’t their thing, there’s a lot that the brewers can do. But – IPA’s are awesome and you should go drink some today. Happy IPA Day!