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1000 Flavors in Every Glass

1000 Flavors in Every Glass (Or, did you know just how crazy hops actually are?)
Woody. Guava. Resinous. Piney. Floral. These descriptors come up frequently on tap menus, bottle labels, and as we try to pick apart what we drink. It’s exciting to know exactly how that monster IPA you just fell in love with is made, but sometimes the list of hops can lose meaning. Or, you might be the kind of drinker who sees 'tropical notes, with a hint of verbena and sunshine' in a beers' description, and think it's all made up.
What if those smells- those tastes- were created by the same stuff as what they remind you of?
Let's talk about hops.What's inside a hop that provides flavor? Let’s science for a minute.
By weight, hops (depending on variety) contain 2-20% “alpha acids” and as little as 0.5% “essential oils.” Alpha acids are bitter, can take abuse, and stick around through a boil in the beginning of the brewing process to lend bitterness to a finished beer. Essential oils ar…

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