John Fleury contributed this great post to the DCist, a hyperlocal news and culture blog for the Washington, DC metro area.
Hops. We’ve all heard the word. We know they’re an integral part of beer, and they pop up in advertisements as the origin of the flavor of your favorite brew. From Schlitz’s timeless “Just a kiss of the hops” to Miller Lite’s recent campaign of “Triple hopped,” the flowering Humulus lupulus has been synonymous with beer and been aiding people to get stoned almost as long as its family member Cannabis has. But what exactly are hops? Or perhaps even more importantly: what do they taste like and why should you care?
Even as a self averred hop-head, I will admit to some confusion over hop varieties. I already well understand some of the basics he covers. I can see how they would be useful to someone just starting to appreciate the wonderful complexities inherent in the conical bloom. He concludes with a survey of six common varieties. This is what really caught my attention and sparked my need to share this post for anyone else looking for good guidance to inform their beer tasting beyond the mere basics.