Ryan Scorgie and Lewis Morris enjoy their beer Saturday during the Great Okanagan Berr Festival at Waterfront Park. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News Ryan Scorgie and Lewis Morris enjoy their beer Saturday during the Great Okanagan Berr Festival at Waterfront Park. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

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.”

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

FEATURE FRIDAY: Preserving Kelowna’s history, one tombstone at a time

The Kelowna Museum Society to host a workshop to clean headstones

Record cherry crop anticipated

BC Tree Fruit growers expecting crop of 12 million pounds due to ideal conditions

Declining mule deer tracked in new study

Wildlife research collaborators join forces on research initiative

B.C. Interior flood risk diminishing

Snowmelt receding but rainfall impact remains a concern

Plea to help find missing dog in Kelowna

Willow has been missing since Sunday near Dee Lake Resort

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

More boat launches shut down as Shuswap Lake rises

Municipalities warn other boat launches could be closed down with little advance warning

Military college students accused of violating Qur’an with bacon

Alleged acts by four cadets from the Royal Military College in Quebec caught on video

Canucks sign top prospect Elias Pettersson to entry-level deal

Slick centre drafted No. 5 overall in 2017 NHL draft

Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps to 1,600 hectares overnight

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 1,600 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Former B.C. police chief dies in ATV accident

Ex-Nelson top cop began his career in Vancouver

Referendum in Ireland would repeal strict ban on abortion

Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country’s strict ban on most abortions.

Lava from Hawaii volcano enters ocean from 3 flows

The Kilauea volcano has been gushing lava on the big island of Hawaii for the past three weeks.

Most Read