People like to think that hops just bitter our beer... thats not even the half of it.Our hops add all kinds of amazing qualities to our Beer. Not just bettering but everything from fruity to citrusy to even grassy flavours. Changing the quantities and the time that we add them can completely change the flavour of our beers. Not only that but hops also have a preservative quality that can help extend the life and flavour of our beer. If you like craft beer its probably a love for unique hops that you have, predominantly the flavour you taste in a craft beer that makes it different to your normal VB's and Carltons is the hops.
Hop flowers (above) are where all the goodness comes from in our beers. They're dried, vacuum sealed and sent to breweries all over the world. The taste and aroma of the same hop will vary from country to country. Which is why we might use a US Cascade in one beer and an Australian Cascade in another.
Hop's can grow up to 30cm a day in peak. They are classed as a rhizome (similar to a bulb) and will lay dormant over winter shooting in the spring.
Unlike the Australian pale ale we discussed a few weeks ago the American pale ale has worked well to define itself and, in true American style, it is bold, boisterous and much shoutier than pales ales from elsewhere in the world. American pale ales are typically brewed with cleaner yeast and American hops, and it is these hops which really distinguish the American pale ales from their British and European counterparts.