Dr. Know: Why are hops in beer?
1 Min Reading Time
Everyone knows beer has hops, referred to in many places as “green gold.” But why?
We can look at the importance of hops for beer from several angles. But first to clarify one point: only female hop flowers are used in brewing, and nowadays not in their natural state but in pellet form. That’s more efficient and also cleaner! But where does the taste come from?
A substance called lupulin is mainly responsible. It contains essential oils, protein, minerals – and especially bittering agents that are extremely important when brewing beer. By contrast, the oils primarily contribute to the flavor and aroma. During brewing, the bittering agents provide the beer’s bitterness, promote stable foam for the head, and act as preservatives. In other words, hops extend the beer’s shelf life by natural means. In fact the higher the beer’s hop content, the longer its shelf life.
By the way, we purchase our hops exclusively from the Hallertau region, the world’s largest contiguous hop cultivation area – and right on our doorstep, just ten kilometers from the brewery. We have worked with hop farmers from this region for decades. Local sourcing of our raw materials is a high priority for us.
Have you ever wondered why now and then a beer will taste citrusy or even herbal? The answer is hops. Nowadays there are so many varieties that it’s possible to satisfy every taste. Here’s a tip: if you’re a fan of extra-hoppy beer, give our Kellerbier 1516 a try. It’s made with the rare “Record” hop variety, grown on just a single hectare worldwide. We share exclusive rights to it with Sierra Nevada, the American craft beer pioneer.