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Too Much Hops?!?

Just came across this gem… Wanted to see what everyone thought

I saw this and I think maybe the author is oversimplifying a bit. I have some friends who claim they don’t like “hoppy” beers, but it turns out what they don’t like is the in-your-face strong flavor/aroma of some of the popular hops like C-hops, Simcoe, Citra, Nelson, etc. When you hand them a fairly bitter ESB made with EKG though, they like it just fine. My sample size and personal experience is certainly limited, but I wonder how much of this phenomenon is a reaction to bers that are highly hopped with some types of hop with strong flavor/aroma profiles, and not really IBU’s. The folks I am thinking of would not like an APA with a lot of cascade, chinook, or citra flavor at50-60 IBU, but really like an ESB with english hops at he same IBU level.

Interesting read.

I made a bunch of lagers this winter and early spring that are coming on line now. When I play golf with my neighbor I bring a growler and every time I hand him a beer and it is not an IPA, I get a quizzical look. He and I are pretty much hop heads but I have to admit, some of these lagers are tasty and refreshing.

I can see his point, although I am an admitted hophead.

One of the most interesting points made by Stan Heironymous in his Hops book, is that balance is key and sometimes less is more when it comes to experiencing the flavors of hops.

I dont’ think the author’s friend had a problem with the hops, I think it was the boiled grains :shock:
On a serious note, I agree to a point that many have become overly obsessed with hops and creating/drinking the next biggest and baddest hop bomb. I prefer hoppier styles to maltier ones generally speaking but I think balance is key, at least for my tastes.

Don’t you hate it when someone presents their opinion as a true fact? OK, some people don’t like really hoppy beers. Some people don’t like beers that aren’t really hoppy. So what? To say that all, or even most, craft beer is overhopped is inaccurate and shows a lack of research.

I have yet to taste a beer and say “that has too many hops in it” or “that’s too bitter” because neither is possible. :wink:

That was my exact thought as well. One of his friends didn’t like a moderately hopped beer and suddenly craft beer is all to hoppy. My experience is craft beer has a great and wide verity.

I’m not sure I quite agree with the article, either. Yes, a large portion of craft beer is enamored with hops (I’m a big fan, by the way), but not all, not even close. There is plenty of options out there. Most local breweries I go to have a typical broad selection of lighter beers to dark beers with hoppy beers mixed in. If you don’t want hoppy, don’t buy it. I’m not sure you can say a consistently growing market is being ruined by something, if it’s growing.

That being said, I have heard murmurs from people about getting away from crazy hopped beers. I’m sure the industry will trend in another direction at some point, but that will be as the market allows it. Maybe people will be more interested in yeast or grains as the article suggests. Who knows, but at least it’s always changing and giving us options, which is great!

I did not read the article with great detail, so I may be a little off here.

But if the author is such a proponent of craft beers, she should know that craft beers offer a huge variety of styles. That’s kind of the point right? Saying crafts beers in general are too hoppy, is like saying dark beers are too heavy.

I would imagine the “argument” and headline of this article is written to be a little provocative and get some buzz.

I thought things were trending towards sessions, sours and resurrecting old styles anyway.

Fark.com had a great lead-in to the Slate story,

“Finally, someone speaks truth to America’s “craft beer” makers: YOU ARE OVERHOPPING YOUR BEER, DUMBASSES”

I agree. A co-worker sent this article to me this morning and I thought, “Wow! This guy wasted a lot of time and energy writing this article!” Hoppy beers are ruining American craft beer reputation for who, I ask?? There’s plenty of options available everywhere for all aspects of beer. America has the best beer variety in the world right now. Sure there’s a lot of hoppy beers, but that’s not all it is. This guy is WAY over exaggerating.
And to have his friend “push the beer away” saying it’s too hoppy is ridiculous; what a puss! I don’t like all beer, but I have the ability to appreciate most beers and to be able to drink them when someone buys me a beer. “I…I just can’t drink this, guys.” Oh brother… :roll:

I agree. A co-worker sent this article to me this morning and I thought, “Wow! This guy wasted a lot of time and energy writing this article!” Hoppy beers are ruining American craft beer reputation for who, I ask?? There’s plenty of options available everywhere for all aspects of beer. America has the best beer variety in the world right now. Sure there’s a lot of hoppy beers, but that’s not all it is. This guy is WAY over exaggerating.
And to have his friend “push the beer away” saying it’s too hoppy is ridiculous; what a puss! I don’t like all beer, but I have the ability to appreciate most beers and to be able to drink them when someone buys me a beer. “I…I just can’t drink this, guys.” Oh brother… :roll: [/quote]

If the guy didn’t like the beer, he didn’t like it. He shouldn’t force himself to drink it. I’ve often “pushed away” beers that didn’t fit my tastes. If there’s any fault here, it’s with the guy who doesn’t like hoppy beers. He should have stated his preferences so the wait person could suggest something he would like.

Well, Green Flash West Coast IPA isn’t way too bitter for me, but if someone buys me one, I’ll drink the hell out of it. I suppose you’re right though, there are some beers that I just can’t drink. But I guess I find it hard to believe a “session” English bitter would be too bitter for someone, unless he’s a super taster.

I think that people outside the craftbrew world over simplify hops. I was part of that world until I took a beer brewing class and got to taste all sorts of beers with all sorts of hops. I had beers with very little hops added to it but it was over powering, to me, because of WHAT hops was used and I had beer that had large amount of hops added and it was the most mild tasting beer I tried, (looking at you cascade).

I think that our side job, as craft beer brewers, is to educate the general public so the notion that all hops are this overpowering bitter substance is demystified.

Hops can be an acquired taste but if you educate and get people to try a variety of hops it can go from “this beer is too hoppy and nasty” to “I get it and appreciate it but it is not for me”.

This is just my thoughts as someone who is new to the world of homebrewing. We can be an elitist club, unfortunately, but we just have to remember, we want everyone to enjoy a craft beer but not everyone understands what it.

edit# spelling and grammer

From the article:

“Let’s be clear: Not all craft beer is hoppy. There are many craft breweries that seek to create balanced, drinkable beers that aren’t very bitter at all, like Patrick Rue’s the Bruery in Placentia, Calif., and the Commons Brewery in Portland, Ore. Among the non-hoppy yet complex and delicious American craft beers available are Widmer’s hefeweizen, New Glarus’ cherry and raspberry beers, and Full Sail Brewing’s Session Lager (a beer specifically developed to serve as a refreshing counterpoint to overhopped beers). America’s independent breweries make beers to suit every palate, not just the ones that revel in bitterness.”

I believe she wrote this article to partially be provocative & partially to make the point that there are other beer beyond hop bombs in the craft beer world. She is making a plea to try and change the stereotype that non-craft beer drinkers have of “our world”. At last that is the tone I took from the article. The again, I am not Lit Major.

Also, her buddy needs to MAN UP!

Or an alt. My son-in-law doesn’t like the real hoppy beers done with the Cs, but was fine with a hoppy alt brewed with with spalt hops. He is also okay with my pale ale that has a fair amount of glacier hops along with the malt to balance it.

I love all kinds of beer, hoppy or not. I dont believe that most craft beers are over hopped.

We’ve got 10 taps where i work, 3 of which are IPA’s, and 1 hoppy pale. 60% of our beers favor the malt. I have yet to find a brewery/bar/store that has a more hoppy beers than not.

That being said, our hoppy beers sell the best. Which says more about the consumer than the brewery, IMO.
:cheers:

edit: Having spent time in England, I quickly realized how little hops are used. The beer certainly favors the barley, and esters, over the hops. Many English beer drinkers seem to be offended by American IPA’s and our interpretation on other styles. The sad part is, we can enjoy their beer, but they can’t enjoy ours (a generalization, i know. Not ALL of them feel this way, but many do.) . I believe that says something about diversity in palates, and willingness to overcome tradition for the sake of variety and experimentation. We create what we like to drink - despite tradition PLUS we make the traditional types too. This is why i believe America, as a whole, has the best beer in the world. (IMO)

I think the author is correct that there has been a bit of hop war going on as to who can brew the hoppiest beers. Personally, that doesn’t bother me because IPA is my favorite style, but I also love the incredibly diversity of beer and haven’t found a style yet that I didn’t enjoy if well made.

I think she takes it too far when she says that too much craft beer is overhopped and that is a barrier to widening the acceptance of craft beer. With the craft beer explosion, there is something out there for everybody’s taste, unless, like my wife, you just plain don’t like beer.

Well I think the author does not really address what that friend generally brews. Just because you are a home brewer does not mean you deal with a lot of hops. And one can occasionally brew some extract based beer that is not an ipa style and find a session beer too hoppy.

I’ve had session beers that were called that due to a low alc content. They were very hoppy however both due to the amount of hops and due to the fact there was not a large malt grain bill to back up the hops used.

And that one beer the author mentioned could have just been a beer someone did not like the taste of. Perhaps it was stale for instance.

I will note the IBU ratings have gone up rather rapidly, but I attribute this to similar things we see with hot peppers and hot sauce ratings/pepper socoville unit ratings. People do seem to develop tolerances. It is easy to say this is not bitter then try to bring someone in to the craft/home brew fold and have that be a total assault on their palate they never will recover from.

I think we are approaching the limits of the hop arms race they mention, just because there is only so far you can economically go to gain additional bitterness units that will only attract some of the total market share you are after. Does this mean anything is wrong with anything? Nope, not in the slightest.

I do advocate bringing in people that drink the industrial giants beverages to something that is a bit more easy going than a full on IPA, Barleywine, Imperial Stout. Those drinks are shocks to fizz beer palates from the start.

Also it was written by Slate so it seems that you have to go way overboard on hyperbole and totally take someone writing something down for the ultra truth…or take what they say with a grain of salt

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