A History of Hops: The Condensed Version Part I

Leave a comment

April 25, 2014 by Prost Brewing

German Hops; Courtesy of: LuckyStarr under the license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en.

German Hops; Courtesy of: LuckyStarr under the license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en.

Along with the long-standing brewing tradition in Bavaria, Germany came a long-standing tradition of hop cultivation in Bavaria. The oldest evidence of hop cultivation traces all the way back to the year 736 AD found in the German Geisenfeld/Hallertau region, north of Munich, a region that today is considered the largest continuous hop planting area in the world! This area produces 80% of Germany’s hops that together supply roughly one-third of the world’s hops!

Courtesy of: Visitor 7 under the license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en.

Courtesy of: Visitor 7 under the license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en.

Indeed, Bavaria would have never been able to produce the high-quality brews they are well known for today without their discovery of the virtues of hops. Taking advantage of such virtues, and of course, the ability to successfully grow and cultivate hops in Bavaria with its rich soils and ideal climate for this plant, Bavarian brewers incorporated hops into brewing like had never been done before. While before hops were considered an “optional” addition to the brew, the Bavarian brewers made the inclusion of hops in any brew a standard that would come to indicate high-quality beer that was safe to drink and of course, delicious!

It was not until the Middle Ages that hops began to gain some degree of popularity in the world of brewing. Before then, hops were mainly used as flavoring agents or perhaps for their medicinal qualities that included laxative and sedative properties. However, once the nuns and friars applied their scientific approach to brewing in search of the means by which one could create the perfect brew, it was not long before they came to discover the virtues of hops in brewing.

They knew of course that hops added a bitter element to the beer which paired with the sweetness of the malt made for an interesting and rather pleasing milieu of flavors. What was not as well known at the time was that hops also acted as a preservative that ensured your beer would not go sour and would keep even through the balmier days! This was of course no small discovery! From there the Germans were able to consistently produce high-quality brews, a feat that had never before been accomplished due to the innate risk involved in brewing without an added preservative to keep those pesky unwanted bacterias out!

Thus, thanks to the virtues of hops, German beer grew to what it is today, paving the way for all other hoppy beers that would come to follow in its footsteps. Well aware of the virtues of the hops, Prost Brewing’s head brewer (who was once a hop farmer himself) carefully incorporates the powerful flavor profile of German hops into every brew, lacing the beer’s malty base with a bitter and spicy complexity. To experience the virtues of the hop for yourself head down to Prost Brewing this weekend where the alluring smell of malt intermingled with hops is always brewing!

See you soon!

“Prost!”

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: