- One of our friends: “So what exactly are hops? Are they the thing that makes up the main body of the beer? Are they a cereal or something?”
- Mark ‘Bottled Beer Year’ Dexter on beer labelling: “Hop varieties listed as an enhancement are great. But on their own – they leave too many clueless.”
- Another friend drinking our Citra pale ale: “What’s Citra? Is that a type of beer?”
- Description of Penzance Brewing Company’s Trink pale ale in the programme for a local beer festival: “…featuring the ever-so-now Citra hop”.
- Another brewer on Twitter: “We’ve given in and brewed a beer with Citra now everyone else has stopped going on about it.”
- Numerous beer geeks: “Needs more hops.”
Lots of people don’t know what hops are or what they contribute to beer.
Many others don’t understand that different hop varieties, in different proportions, added at different times in the process, affect the flavour of the finished beer.
And hardly anyone can actually tell the difference between one hop variety and another from the aroma and taste alone. (We certainly can’t, though we make a lucky guess now and then, and God knows we’ve tried.)
The very idea that there might be fashionable hops would surprise many.
In conclusion, we think hyper-awareness of hops is one of the biggest differences between those who simply enjoy beer and those who obsess over it, and it’s another thing to add to the list of perspective checks.