Hops provide beer with so much more than just bitterness

Ask the brewmaster at the Great Okanagan Beer Festival in Kelowna

The bitterness of hops is an acquired taste according to a Port Moody brewmaster.

Hundreds gathered for the fourth annual Great Okanagan Beer Festival at Waterfront Park which started Friday and ends Sunday. The festival features more than 70 breweries including Moody Ales from Port Moody.

Brewmaster Roxanne Cartwright said hops are especially important to beer as it provides the drink with flavour and aroma, not just bitterness that’s typically associated with it.

“I believe it is an acquired taste because it is truly something that is unnatural to the human pallet, it’s the hop plant’s way of saying ‘don’t eat me, I’m bitter,’ but it grows on you.”

It’s possible to have a hoppy beer without the bitterness too, she said.

“You can have a hoppy beer, but have all the hops as just aroma. Or you can have a hoppy beer that’s just flavour… hops are in beer to help balance the sugars. You have malts and you have hops and when a beer is balanced you don’t even notice one of the elements being too strong.”

<iframe src="https://blackpress.tv/embed/31922/Great_Okanagan_Beer_Festival_2018" frameborder="0" width="640" height="360" s

In times where refrigerators didn’t exist, hops were used to preserve the beer and the ingredient evolved into a staple for the drink today.

But for the beer newbie, who is wary of bitterness, she recommends sampling different things and using the rating on the International Bitterness Unit scale to determine your level of hop.

“Once you really start to appreciate the flavour, you can’t get enough of it,” she said.

True beer connoisseurs “just crave that hop flavour and there are so many different types of hops, you have citrus, you have spice.”

She recommends a dry hop sour, for beginners who enjoy the citrus flavour. An ISA is another good starting point.

“Don’t start with a double IPA, that’s a bit of a shock to the pallet,” Cartwright laughed.

Festival goers Lewis Morris and Ryan Scorgie started with ciders Saturday and worked their way to an IPA.

Scorgie said he enjoys the Four Winds IPA, and they both enjoy the taste of hops.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Update: More lightning forecast as storm sparks 38 new wildfires in B.C.

22 new fires in are burning in the Kamloops Fire Centre according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Grass fire ignites in Glenrosa

West Kelowna fire crews are on the scene of a grass fire

Updated: Okanagan Mountain Park fire grows

Smoke can be seen from Okanagan Mountain Park across from Peachland

West Kelowna firefighters perform rescue after lightning strike

Crews rescued two people from an apartment’s elevator on Carrington Road

No more fast food drive-thrus at Turtle Bay Crossing

Lake Country council rejected the third reading of a bylaw which would allow for a second drive-thru

VIDEO: Vernon residents quick to jump on lightning fire

Thanks to the residents’ efforts, crews were able to quickly suppress the fire.

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontario

Black bears, now yearlings, were sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario last April

‘Recovery high schools,’ per diems urged to better manage addiction in B.C.

BC Centre for Substance Use says focus needs to shift to from overdose prevention to long-term care

UPDATED: Four small wildfires reported near Revelstoke following Tuesday night storm

Four new wildfires are currently burning near Revelstoke following Tuesday night’s lightning… Continue reading

Vernon Tigers one win from lacrosse title

The Vernon Source For Sports Tigers watched the Kamloops Venom self-destruct in a 20-7 win Tuesday.

Several attacked with bear spray at Kalamalka Beach

Police have apprehended a 16-year-old Vernon male.

Hells Angels celebrating 35th anniversary party on Vancouver Island

Additional police resources will be in Nanaimo this weekend as roughly 300 members and hang arounds are expected

New campaign aims to tide food waste at home

About 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is discarded in Canada every year

‘Savour the Okanagan’ fundraiser in Vernon Saturday

All contributions and proceeds will go towards JoeAnna’s House

Most Read