Booze 101: All About the Hops

In terms of beer, hops can be used for aroma, flavoring, and bitterness
Harvesting Hops
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A harvester collects hop vines.

The precious hop — as revered as gold in San Diego — is the source that brings about liquid happiness for many IPA drinkers around the world. With their pleasing array of aromatics, hops are one of the key ingredients in beer, along with yeast, grain, and water.

Hops are measured in a variety of ways, including alpha acids, beta acids, cohumulone, total oil, and fractions of citrus, pine, and floral esters (amongst others). In terms of beer, hops can be used for aroma, flavoring, and bitterness, equaling a sensory rabbit hole for brewers and beer lovers.

DID YOU KNOW?

Have you ever raised a glass of beer for a first sip and noticed a skunky smell? Well, it’s not just in your (high) imagination. Hops are genetically related to cannabis (both are in the Cannabaceae family), and similarly have been used for natural medicinal purposes (hops have been used as a treatment for anxiety and insomnia).

Whether looking to get into brewing, or just dig the science of it, it’s important to look at the aroma and flavor profiles each hop lends when choosing to make (or drink) the perfect beer.

Head to Pacific Magazine for some of the most popular hops varieties, with a few newer hops on the local block to look out for.

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