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How do Hops bring my Beer to Life?

What is a Hop?

“Hop” is a term that’s thrown around fairly frequently in the world of beer, being one of the primary ingredients in brewing. These small, green cones are not only responsible for the distinctive bitterness of beer but also contribute a myriad of flavours and aromas that elevate the drinking experience.

Hops are the flowers of the hop plant Humulus lupulus. Interestingly, part of the cannabis family yet they don’t hold any THC. In beer, hops provide the bitterness which counterbalances against the sweetness of malt. Essential oils and resin are produced inside the hop cone; that’s where the flavour, aroma, and bitterness of beer stems from.

Time is not on beer's side; the ingredients are sensitive. Hop flavours degrade with time, storage, and temperature fluctuations, affecting their impact on the flavour. Freshly tapped beer is delivered straight from the Pinter to the glass, keeping flavours locked in as it's meant to be.

Bittersweet Symphony

In addition to their aromatic properties, hops also provide bitterness to beer. This bitterness comes from compounds called alpha acids, which are extracted from the hops during the brewing process. The bitterness of a beer is measured in International Bitterness Units (IBUs), with higher IBU values indicating a more bitter beer. Both high alpha acids hops and aromatic hops are used in Pinter Pack recipes to give the desired balance 😎

The relationship between hops and beer is constantly evolving. Even in the last 10 years or so we’ve seen the appetite for juicy, hazy, and higher ABV beers explode within the craft market. Brewers have had to adapt rapidly to meet the boom in demand for such types of beer, particularly in sourcing the right hop varieties from the right place; region plays a vital role in variation of flavour.

Not only that but you can add even the same hop variety at different stages of the brewing process to yield different results. In the brewing process, (prior to what we send you in your Pinter Packs😉), hops can be added during the boiling stage for different lengths of time to adjust the ratio of bittering and aroma effects. From then onwards, hops can be added during or after the fermentation process - termed Dry Hopping - this is what you do with a Hopper during the Pinter brewing process.


Historical Hops

Incredibly, hops have been referenced in history as early as the first century AD; believed to have originated in Egypt, they were then known then as a “salad plant”. Before being introduced to the mighty hop, the most common style of beer in England was unhopped ale; often flavoured with wormwood, which some alcoholic drinks still use as a flavouring today.

Reluctantly accepted in England at first, few people had high hop(e)s when hops were brought over from Flanders in the 15th century. But by the 17th century, the heroic hop had grown on people so much that unhopped beers had become a rarity.

Hops in Pinter Packs

Wonderful hops are essential to perfecting your brewing and without them your freshly brewed beer would be completely different. Each beer style has different hop combinations to impart the desired flavours and aromas and different levels of bitterness. Beers such as Space Hopper West Coast Edition, with its long-lasting West Coast IPA-style bitterness, and Big DIPA have a bolder, fruitier punch than beers such as LIT and Ancestor’s which are malt-dominated, yet the impact of hops is still essential for its perfect balance.

This has a striking effect on the final product - depending on the variety, hops can exhibit a wide range of aromas, from citrus and pine to floral and herbal notes. Popular hops in modern-style pale ales and IPAs include Citra (American), Nectaron, and Nelson Sauvin (both New Zealand), whereas, for more traditional-style ales, English hops such as Goldings and Challenger work well. When brewing a lager, classic hops include (German) Magnum and (Czech) Saaz hops.


Which hop varieties are in each hopper?

Big DIPA - Amarillo, Cascade, and Azacca

Bigmouth Remixed - Cascade and Nelson Sauvin

Space Hopper West Coast Edition - Simcoe and Centennial.


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