Hops, supported by fashion

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  • On 19th February 2014

Hops are vogue in Spain. A lot of craft beers make authentic hops pumps with a lot of IBUS, because it seems to dictate in market now.

lúpulo2The definition of fashion is “this repetitive trend regulated by elections that mark or change the behavior of people”.  Trend, that becomes a custom, is adopted by a big part of society in a space of determinate time. Therefore, in my humble opinion, the beer elaboration in Spain with these big hops loads  are fashion really  and as such, fleeting in time. Maybe next year acidic or malt beer will be in fashion and they will begin to make without hops, and after that, Gruit will be in fashion… who knows!! Annoys me so much to find everything loaded with hops, even styles that shouldn´t be, and I think that the home brewer who only uses hops as creative tool, has set aside a lot of interesting parameters.

These beers taste better according to some, it´s probably because bitterness is a recognizable sensation by one of our five senses and accepted by our taste buds, identified as  an artisanal and bracing beer with refreshing balance. And here own perception and stimuli that meet in our brain to recognize and register the flavours and tastes of grapefruit, ripe fruit, pine, lime, etc, play an important part.

And although these kinds of beers have a faithful public and they´re popular beers, everyone has a set of learned and acquired tastes, and it´s in this bitterness taste when our evolutionary biological mechanism began to survive by avoiding poison (since most poisons are bitter in their taste) actives, making a lot of people reluctant to partake in these kinds of drinks or bitter foods.

lúpuloI think that lots of breweries are starting to explore other routes to different products, either in barrels, experimenting with different kinds of yeast, etc. And there is a thing called balance, and it´s something difficult to achieve at the time of making beer, so that it´s easier make an extreme pump than something more subtle. Fortunately, the public is beginning to realize of this, and the tables are turning. The varieties grow, beers are opening in heterogeneous range, and all of this is only the beginning:  extremes defied and limits crossed. It´s a game, but it includes vanguard and provocative exercise. The end target is laudable: opening the palate and avoiding the price of beer became the only important thing. Will the beers of the future be stronger, more bitter and alcoholic? Surely not; blond and light beers will continue to dominate sales. It is not a competition, but coexistence. The popular proverb says that variety is the space of live. And it´s true.