There are hundreds of different hop varieties available for use in a number of different beer styles. The hop plant (Humulus lupulus) is used in brewing for a number of different reasons.
1. Bitterness: Hops contribute bitterness to balance the sweetness of malted barley, resulting in a more balanced and drinkable beer. The bitterness can range from mild to intense, depending on the amount and variety of hops used.
2. Flavour: Hops also provide various flavors and aromas to beer, enhancing its complexity and adding depth. Different hop varieties can contribute floral, citrus, pine, spice, or herbal flavors, allowing brewers to create a wide range of beer styles.
3. Preservation: Hops act as a natural preservative in beer. They have antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria and spoilage microorganisms, helping to prolong the shelf life of the beer.
4. Foam stability: Hops contain compounds that enhance the stability and retention of foam in beer. This leads to better head retention and overall appearance of the beer when poured into a glass.
Hops play a critical role in achieving the desired taste, aroma, balance, and shelf life of beer.
Bittering hops are a specific variety of hops used in brewing beer to add bitterness and balance to the sweetness of malt. These hops contain a high alpha acid content, which contributes to the bitterness when boiled during the brewing process. Bittering hops are typically added early in the boiling process to extract the maximum bitterness from the hops. They are valued for their ability to counterbalance the sweetness of malt and to provide a distinct flavour profile to the beer.
Aroma hops are a specific variety of hops that are used in the brewing process of beer to add aromatic and flavourful characteristics to the final product. These hops typically have a more delicate and pleasant aroma compared to bittering hops, which are mainly used for their bitterness. Aroma hops often exhibit fragrances of fruits, flowers, herbs, spices, or pine, which can enhance the overall aroma and taste profile of the beer. Brewer’s often use different varieties of aroma hops to achieve desired flavours and aromas in their beers. Aroma hops are responsible for the unique flavourings of your beer. The Kentish terroir of our beautiful aroma hops makes them ideal for producing distinguished English hop flavours; our award-winning hops have achieved international acclaim.
Dual Purpose Hops
Dual purpose hops are a type of hop variety that can be used for both bittering and aroma purposes in beer brewing. These hops possess a well-balanced chemistry of alpha acids (responsible for bitterness) and essential oils (responsible for aroma and flavour). Therefore, they can be added during different stages of the brewing process to contribute to both the bitterness and the aroma profile of the beer. Dual purpose hops are often preferred by brewers as they offer versatility and efficiency in creating a well-rounded beer.
Award Winning British Hops
The Hukins family passion for hop growing stretches across four generations. For over 100 years we have been growing British hop garlands on the unique ‘terroir’ in the Weald of Kent.
Our maritime climate, Tunbridge Wells sandstone geology and sandy Wealden clay soil uniquely combine to give our aroma hops their very own set of unique brewing aroma characteristics.
British Hop Varieties
Brewers & Merchants
Whatever your role in the brewing industry, from Hop Merchant to Home brewer, great or small we would love to work with you.
As part of our drive to curate and maintain the wonderful heritage of English hops, we experiment with a range of aroma hops. Our varieties include intense apricot from Ernest, oranges from Bullion and the classic English flavours of Fuggle, Golding’s and Challenger amongst others.
We also are currently in the process of re-introducing a number of historic varieties no longer grown in the U.K including the Hukins Hop, lost in time in the British Hop Library for over 60 years as well as a range of experimental aromas. Interested and want to learn more, drop us a note today