Hi! Welcome to my 100 Days of Beer project where I’ll be chronicling a fact about beer styles and stories of beer history until December 25, 2018. If there’s a topic you want to know more about, let me know @beerswithmandy. Day 8/100
Only Female Hops Make Beer Bitter
Did you know it’s lady hops giving your IPAs bitterness??
When you see hops hanging from a bine those are almost always the “female” cone. In fact, it’s a best practice in hop growing to eliminate a male hop plant immediately if you see one. The characteristics of male plants are much harder to control and will cause a specific type of hop (for example Columbus or Chinook) to taste slightly off or have a different alpha acid content. Male hops grow “flowers” that are used for breeding so if a male plant pops up in a hop farm, the hop cones will have seeds (which is not ideal for harvesting).
So next time you take a sip of bitter beer, thank the lady hops that made it for you!