The different flavor characteristics of hops.
With the explosion in the craft beer industry it’s hard not to find at least one sensational brew you love. IPAs lead the charge and are probably the most commonly seen. As most know, the key ingredient to these sensational creations are the hops used.
But to the casual craft beer drinker, discerning hop aromas can be tricky. While discovering which hops are used in your favorite brew is usually pretty readily available information, it can be difficult to tell exactly which hop adds which flavor characteristic. It can also be a challenge to decipher hops with different names but similar tastes between brews. Hopunion.com has a pretty comprehensive hop list, and a very cool hop aroma wheel, but here is a basic rundown of some of the most commonly found characteristics.
Citrus undertones in IPAs in particular are extremely common. Characteristics can hint at grapefruit, orange, a fresh pear or a more tropical essence. These exemplary tastes are excellent any time of year, but are especially good on a warm summer day while relaxing on the beach. Brews like Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin, Flying Dog Bloodline and Sierra Nevada Beer Camp are just a few well known for their citrusy aromas. Citra, Galena, Columbus, Simcoe and Amarillo are some of the regularly used hops for their citrusy characteristics.
Taste Of The Great Outdoors
Pine is another frequently found aroma in many craft brews. If you’re a fan of Stone Brewing IPA, Deschutes Pinedrops IPA or Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, chances are you’re a fan of the piney flavors. Simcoe, Warrior, Chinook and Northern Brewer are just a few of many hops you are likely to come across with this style.
Bouquet Of Flavor
Floral flavors are often found in conjunction with citrusy beers. Just a few beers noted for their strong floral undertones are Victory Dirtwolf, Bell Brewery’s Hopslam, Stone Ruination and Brewdog’s Punk IPA. Cascade, Fuggle, Willamette, Golding and Centennial are just a few of the more floral hops you will find.
By no means are IPAs the only style of brew that has a dominate hop presence. Just about any craft brew you drink, porters, stouts, lagers and ales all use the amazing array of flavors and aromas they possess. Don’t be afraid to venture out of your taste comfort zone and try different styles. experience the full gambit of flavors hops are capable of, you won’t be disappointed.