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Episode Info:

Remember the old Keystone commercial? If not, great! That means that you do not fear the bitter beer face. In this episode, we taste a selection of hop-centric beers.

Two Rivers Pale Ale | Flathead Lake Brewing Company

Montana grown 2-row pale, white wheat, and caramel malts. Simcoe and Cascade hops. Named after the two rivers that flow into Flathead Lake- the Flathead and Swan rivers.

A: Two-finger fluffy white head. Decent retention. Hazy orange-gold body.

S: Some golden malts and floral hops.

T: Light floral hoppiness.

M: Relatively thick bodied. Wet and clean finish.

Short and Bitter History of Hops

So, beer is old — really old. Hops in beer, well, not so much. Hops didn’t make their first appearance in written human history until Pliny the Elder’s “Naturalis Historia,” first published between 77–79 AD.

For the 8000 years or so before the marriage of beer and hops, beer was flavored and preserved with a mix of spices and fruits commonly referred to as “gruit” or “grut.” Despite the use of hops in beer as early as 822 AD in France and 300 years later in Germany, common hop usage was eschewed for centuries for more traditional, gruit-based recipes.

“A History of Beer and Brewing” by Ian Hornsey claims that Henry VI outlawed the use of hops as an ingredient in beer. In 15th and 16th century England, “ale” was defined as a malted cereal drink often flavored with gruit, while “beer” was a cereal brew that could use other ingredients, including hops.

In the minuscule 2.5% of the history of beer those 200 years represent, hop production has gone from simple farming to intense chemical scientific research and breeding programs sponsored by the highest levels

Single Hop Northwest Pale Ale | Bitter Root Brewing


A: White foamy head with great retention and nice lacing.

T: Light, crisp, airy, and fruit forward. Lots of apple, apricot, crisp pine, lemon rind and earthy.

M: Awesome drinkability. Crisp, well-finishing, light carbonation, easy bitterness, nothing heavy or over done.

The Role Of Hops In Beer

Hops contain acids and oils that impart bitterness, flavor, and stability to the finished beer.

Generally, hops are added to the boil stage of brewing, as it takes a pretty long time (around an hour) to unleash the “alpha” acids that bitter and balance the sweetness of the malt

Myth: The number of IBUs in an IPA indicates how bitter it will taste

Recent research reveals that International Bittering Units (known more commonly as IBUs) is not a good measure of bitterness in IPAs.

In a traditional IPA, hops are added earlier in the brewing process to impart a bite of bitterness when alpha acids in the plant are isomerized. But now brewers are adding hops at the end of the boil — or even afterward as dry-hopping — to extract more hop flavor and aroma and less bitterness.

Abandon the term IBU when interacting with consumers?

Hop Nosh IPA | Uinta Brewing Company

Galaxy and Chinook

A: Deep amber color with a thick beige head with great retention and leaving laces.

S: Aroma with notes of resin, pine, caramel malt, grapefruit, and lychees.

T: Flavor with notes of pine, grapefruit, floral resin, spices, toasted and caramel malts, lemon, and tangerines. Dry and bitter aftertaste.

M: Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of7.3% is absent.

The post What Bitter Beer Face? – Beer and Bad Choices – Episode 3 appeared first on Beer and Bad Choices.

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