What Role Do American Hops Play In The Production Of Craft Beers?

There are many different hops that go into craft brewery beer production in the US. Although British and German hops remain popular in Europe, American hop varieties like Citra, Cascade, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Saaz tend to be the mainstays of US beer production, especially among craft beer breweries. Although many drinkers may be familiar with the use of hops in beer production, they don't always appreciate the various roles they play in commercial brewing. Read on to learn more about how American hops are utilised in craft beer production today.

Beer Preservation

To begin with, hops have preservative qualities that have been recognized for centuries. The alpha acids found in hops have antibacterial properties. More specifically, these acids target the types of bacteria that typically spoil beer. When hops are boiled during the brewing process, they release these chemical compounds which inhibit the growth of a range of unwanted microorganisms. Using more of them for just this purpose is how British brewers came to develop beers such as India Pale Ales (IPAs) that were able to endure sea journeys without spoiling. Several species of American hops provide exemplary preservation properties that surpass those of many Old World varieties so American brewers have a great deal more flexibility in the way they deploy them.

Flavor Profiles

The distinctive flavor profiles offered by American hops have been instrumental in the development of numerous craft beer styles. American IPAs, for instance, have become well-known for the assertive bitterness and aromatic punch they offer. Frequently making use of hops like Simcoe or Citra, these beers have a distinct flavor that is very different from their British counterparts, often balancing bitterness with citrus-like tones. The unabashed hopping style of American craft beers has become emblematic of the US brewing industry and inspired brewers around the world to experiment with American hops.

Marketing Opportunities

It should also be underlined that American hops play a crucial role in the marketing and branding of craft beers these days. As consumers have become accustomed to them, they have grown in popularity. Nowadays, the prominence of hop varieties in the naming and labeling of beers underscores just how important they have become in the competitive world of beer marketing. Craft beer enthusiasts will frequently seek out beer brands based on the specific hop content they contain. This demonstrates the deep connection between consumers and particular beers, something that few brewers overlook as they seek to grow the consumption of particular craft ales.

For more information on craft beer, contact a professional near you.