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

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

West Kelowna high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mount Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault

Contenders to return for Okanagan tour

Valdy, Gary Fjellgaard and Blu and Kelly Hopkins will perform at six venues

Lake Country candidates reflect on previous council

This week’s question is what could have been done differently?

Arkells to perform in Kelowna as part of latest album tour

The rock and rollers are performing Feb. 5 at Prospera Place

Cough cough: Kelowna MLA gets flu shot to prep for the cold season

Steve Thomson got his flu shot from Lakeside Medicine Centre Friday

Watch it again: Kelowna mayoral candidates square off

Missing the LIVE Kelowna mayoral debate watch now

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of B.C. girl

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

Most Read