Here at West Palm Beach Brewery, we take the selection of our hops very seriously. Why? We care about the quality of the great craft beer we produce. A high-quality beer begins with high-quality ingredients and we want only the best for our patrons. However, you may be wondering why each type of hops is chosen. The answer lies in the taste of the beer.
Craft beer is not something you can just throw together and hope for the best. If you want to brew a specific style, you need the right ingredients, brewing system, and a quality control team that really loves their job. We are lucky enough to have all three, as well as plenty of customers that give us feedback on the flights they try. Our selection of hops is specific to each brew and the measurements carefully adjusted to ensure every brew we pour is perfect.
Another factor to be considered is the freshness of the hops. You don’t want stale hops, just like you wouldn’t want a stale beer. With this in mind, we make sure to check the hops when it is delivered to be sure that only the best ingredients go into your beer. However, all of this aside, exactly how do hops affect the flavor of your beer?
As we mentioned, the type of hops determines the taste of your beer. For example, Citra hops provide a more citric taste to the beer, giving it a bit of zing. Cascade hops, on the other hand, offers a crossover in use, as it is an aroma hop as well as a flavor-enhancing hop. However, it is often paired with more bitter hops in order to ensure there is a proper bite to the resulting brew, rather than just aroma.
Using only an aroma-type hops would result in a brew with very little bitterness, but plenty of aromas. While this may sound perfect to some of you, the very large population of hopheads would be quite disappointed. We wouldn’t have any of the hopped-up great craft beer that we have today, such as Stone Brewings’ Go To IPA. Additionally, it is worth noting that if fewer hops were used, we would also lose quite a bit of shelf-life in our brews! Hops help to kill the organisms that kill a beer over time.
Thanks to those little cones of joy, we have a huge variety of brews on the market to choose from. Be they citrusy or sweet, high IBU or low, the many craft beers we come across are well-worth the effort their brewers put into choosing the right hops for each batch.
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