“He was forced to supply fresh hops to his customers, which weren’t well received, and they rejected them because of their pungent smell. His solution was to break up the bales and leave them out in the sun for several weeks to age them quickly and drive off any semblance of hoppy aroma.”
Oh, how far hop culture has come. This is the recounted story from famed brewer, Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada, of a homebrew hop supplier he worked with back in the 1970s. It’s a complete 360 from the way hops are reacted to nowadays. It’s as if they’ve gone from a simple necessity to fulfill the requirements of beer, to beer being the simple necessity to fulfill obsession with hops. Thirty plus years later, we now have an in-depth guide to this plant, in hopes of satisfying the astronomical desire for everything HOPS!
“For the Love of Hops” is a thorough look into every aspect of the hop, written by revered beer writer, Stan Hieronymus. The above quote from Grossman, is from the forward in this book. This is pointed out to show the relevance of the book, as any book on hops that is endorsed by the likes of Grossman along with Jim Koch, and Vinnie Cilurzo, is worth a serious look. This book, however, is probably not suited for the amateur beer drinker who doesn’t care what is in his beer as long as it tastes good. This book is for the beer geek who wants to know everything about hops; it’s for the homebrewer that wants to have a better understanding of the essential ingredient he’s brewing with; and for the historian that wants to know where all this hop madness originated.
Serious looks at handling hops every step of the way, from the initial planting to the finished product in your glass, makes this book an exceptionally educational experience. The glossary of hop styles alone will help bring a greater understanding to what you are drinking and aid in brewing a better beer at home. Every aspect of this book lets you bask in your beer geekdom and should be a staple read for any homebrew who is striving to make the best hoppy beers.