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  • Writer's pictureSpectrum Master Brewer

Back to the Roots: Rediscovering Ancient Hop Varieties in Modern Brews

Hello again, ale aficionados and beer beginners! As we continue our exploration of the "Craft Beer Universe", it's time to hop into a topic that's both aromatic and bitter: the revival of Ancient Hop Varieties in Modern Brews.


Hops have always been a cornerstone of beer brewing, lending their characteristic bitterness to balance the sweetness of malt and adding a plethora of aromas ranging from piney, citrusy, to floral. But did you know that many hop varieties used centuries ago had nearly vanished from the brewing scene?


With the craft beer revolution, there's been a renewed interest in these ancient hop varieties. Modern brewers, in their quest for uniqueness and authenticity, are scouring old texts, collaborating with botanists, and even reviving hop strains from preserved samples.


Why the fascination with old hops? Each hop variety has its own unique profile. Ancient hop strains offer flavors and aromas that are distinct from the more commonly used modern varieties. Whether it's a subtle earthiness, a hint of berry, or a spicy kick, these old-world hops are adding new dimensions to contemporary brews.


Take, for instance, the resurgence of 'Neomexicanus' hops, native to the American Southwest. These wild hops, which had been largely overlooked by commercial brewers, are now being sought after for their unique aromatic properties, introducing notes of apricot, peach, and even mango to beers.


Or consider the revival of 'Brewer's Gold', an old English hop variety that imparts a spicy, blackcurrant aroma. Once overshadowed by newer strains, it's making a comeback in modern brews that aim to capture a taste of history.


The journey of rediscovering ancient hop varieties is not just about flavor; it's about connecting with brewing's rich past. It's a nod to the brewers of yore who crafted beers with the ingredients they had on hand, and it's a testament to the craft beer community's commitment to innovation and tradition.


So, the next time you're enjoying a craft beer, take a moment to savor the aroma. Behind that scent might be a story of a hop variety brought back from the brink, adding its ancient essence to your modern brew.


Join us next time as we continue our journey, "Exploring the Craft Beer Universe", and delve deeper into the elements that make our beloved brews so enchanting. Until then, cheers to the timeless dance of hops and barley!


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